Motorola developing ‘X Phone’ to take on Apple and Samsung?

Motorola MobilityIt has been relatively quiet on the Motorola front for a while. Having been acquired by Google earlier this year, it’s been unclear how the manufacturer would move forward under the umbrella of its new owners. A report by The Wall Street Journal now suggests that Motorola has some very exciting surprises in store for us for 2013. The report indicates that the company is working on a “sophisticated” smartphone, codenamed the “X phone,” that will square off against flagship devices from other manufacturers (such as the Apple iPhone and Samsung’s line of Galaxy S smartphones).

According to company CEO Dennis Woodside, Motorola is currently “investing in a team and a technology that will do something quite different than the current approaches.” The initiative is apparently being led by Lior Ron, a former Google product manager who specialized in mapping applications.

Little is known about the X Phone at this point. The team has looked into flexible displays, ceramics and other materials, as well as different colours and shapes. Objectives for the device include improving the camera and photo software and the incorporation of features from Motorola’s acquisition of Viewdle, an imaging and gesture-recognition software company. The design process has not been without difficulties . Sources have indicated that Motorola has run into a number of “difficulties,” adding that these are a “normal” part of the research-and-development process.

Motorola is expected to have its X Phone out sometime in 2013. An “X tablet” will then follow.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal