X-Phone job posting sends rumor mill into overdrive

X-Phone job posting sends rumor mill into overdrive

The position for ‘Senior Director Product Management, X-Phone' on LinkedIn is being seen as many as conclusive evidence that the rumors, started by a report in The Wall Street Journal in December, are indeed true. The report stated that Google and Motorola were working on a smartphone to challenge Samsung and Apple which would be unveiled at the search giant's Google I/O conference on May 15.

Stories of this new flagship Android handset, the first that Google will have made with Motorola, the struggling handset manufacturer that Google acquired last year, have been slowly building over recent months. As such, sources claim the X-Phone will come with a number of special pre-loaded apps and will be an attempt to replicate Apple's approach to product development -- read: being in total control of every element of every step of the process from the initial design to the packaging in which the finished product arrives.

Google has already partnered with handset makers in the Android alliance to develop Nexus smartphones, meant to be used as reference devices by developers in terms of what the Android operating system can do when not paired with a third-party ‘skin' (the customized interfaces that manufacturers and network providers alike install on top of the pure operating system to distinguish their versions of products and offer further functionality in the form of integrated apps or native features).

However, the X-Phone will take this working relationship one step further, and the resulting handset will not be branded as a Nexus device. Instead it will signal the future direction of the Android operating system and the services that Google will focus on going forward. As the job description states: "Motorola Mobility, owned by Google, is breaking through the barriers that separate people from the things they love. We're designing technology that connects seamlessly so consumers have the best content at their fingertips, every second of every day. TV, talk, text, email and web surfing - we're putting people at the center of it all. It's what we call a Motorola Powered future and we're making the devices that do more, so people can do more."

Many experts believe that Google needs to take a greater involvement in the operating system it spawned. Much data on smartphone sales suggest that so far, Samsung has been the only manufacturer who truly makes money from selling phones that use the operating system and that Android could be in danger of becoming perceived as a Samsung product.