The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is taking its smartphone fate into its own hands, working with Motorola to build its own device known internally as the "X Phone." Due sometime next year, the new device is said to not replace the work Google-owned Motorola is pursuing with its line of Droid devices, but to serve as another product altogether — and that after the X Phone is complete, a so-called "X Tablet" will be coming up next.
The individual reportedly in charge of the project is a former Google product manager, Lior Ron. Ron is said to have previously specialized in mapping — obviously a huge area of focus given Apple's recent stumbles. The project is said to be particularly concerned with providing users with a high-quality camera and great photo software, something the Nexus line has never really been known for.
Bendable screens and ceramics are on the table
Other technologies that are said to have been explored as part of the X Phone project are bendable screens and ceramic materials that would make the device more durable. It's not specified whether the X Phone design is finished, or if either design element will be present in the final device. Image and gesture-recognition software from Viewdle — which Motorola Mobility acquired in October — is also being integrated into the phone.
While Google has been able to put forth its own line of Nexus-branded Android phones and tablets, the company hasn't delved into the world of hardware production itself (save for the short-lived Nexus Q). Taking advantage of its Motorola acquisition to make its own devices would put it in direct competition with Android OEMs, a situation that Microsoft is now confronting with the Surface tablet. Still, after many — including The Verge itself — found the Nexus 4 lacking in certain areas, taking matters into its own hands could be one of the most effective ways for Google to provide the ultimate Android experience.