Moto G (2014) Wishlist
Here's what I think is both very feasible for a $180 Moto G 2014 edition to have, but also what I'd like it to have:
CPU - Cortex A53, quad core 1.2-1.4 Ghz (probably 1.4 Ghz)
GPU: Adreno 306 (not sure how this compares to 305, but after the name, I get the impression it won't be twice as good, the way new GPU generations usually improve in mobile. It seems Qualcomm was really planning on slacking off in 2014). Both the CPU and GPU are part of Snapdragon 410, which Motorola will most likely use (they're using the Snapdragon 400 now).
LTE - again, it's part of Snapdragon 410, which it will most likely have.
RAM: 2 GB of RAM - I think this is a nobrainer improvement, although it should cost them a little more than it did to put 1 GB in it this year. I don't think this upgrade is a huge priority, though, especially after KitKat, so I'd forgive them if they omitted this one, in order to make the other upgrades happen, at the same price point.
Storage: 16GB for $180, 32GB for $200. Not only is this super-feasible from a pricing point of view (16GB of storage should cost like $6 in late 2014), but it's also critical, because Google's phones have the annoying habit of not using microSD. All the more reason to focus on more internal storage then.
Camera: 8MP camera is an obvious improvement here, and it's probably what they're going to do, along with hopefully more improvements in the low-light department (would be nice if they used a bigger sensor!, but probably not going to happen). It should obviously have 1080p video recording. They should also add a good quality HD front-camera, especially if they want more "normal" people buying this phone to use Hangouts.
Display - keep it the same, pay less for it than this year, and compensate by improving the other components as mentioned above. I certainly don't need more than 720p on a 4.5" screen, so they shouldn't even dare to increase the resolution. What I'd like to see is Moto X-level bezels, though, because Moto G is actually about as large as a Moto X right now, because it has larger bezels.
Battery life - it's pretty good right now, but I actually think all OEMs should be pushing so smartphones last on average 2 days (you charge it every other night). So a 2,500 mAh battery would be nice - but only if it's feasible, and I wouldn't consider it a super-high priority right now. They could still probably make it like 2,200 mAh, without paying more than they did this year.
Android 5.0. Whether Android 5.0 gets launched at I/O (hopefully) or next fall, it needs to come with it by default. Google needs to make it happen somehow (like by launching 5.0 earlier).
These are the more or less "obvious" improvements that Motorola can make to the next-gen Moto G. Having these improvements, should make it once again a great purchase at the end of next year, and for that pricing point.
If they want it to have something extra-special, that will get them a lot more press coverage is probably a 13MP camera that perhaps comes close to the one in the Galaxy S4 in quality/performance. The Snapdragon 410 supports 13MP cameras. That would definitely set it apart, and would strengthen even more their message that "it's an iPhone for one third of the price" or whatever.
On the negative side, what would really disappoint me is if they kept the storage the same as the current model, which is already too low, and basically only people who don't know any better are buying the 8GB version. They need to make it 16/32GB for $180/$200. It's an absolute must.
Once again, I think most the proposals here are very feasible price-wise, while keeping in mind that Moto G is already very "spec packed" in that price point, and are making little profit on it right now. The only things that I think go a little over-board are the 2GB of RAM spec, and the 13MP camera. But they can make the 13MP camera happen if they really want to, while keeping 1GB of RAM (which I think would be fine).