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.
For the X phone, an initiative being led by former Google product manager Lior Ron who worked on the Google Maps team, Motorola wanted top-notch features for the phone's camera and photo software, such as better color saturation and the ability to take panoramic shots, two people familiar with the situation said.
But some of the features were found to drain battery life or already have been incorporated into popular new devices, such as the iPhone 5 that launched earlier this year, they added.
Motorola also ran into difficulties when it looked into using a bendable screen and materials such as ceramics that would allow the company to make the X Phone more stress resistant, use more colors and mold into different shapes, these people said.
One person familiar with the plans said Motorola plans to enhance the X Phone with its recent acquisition of Viewdle, an imaging and gesture-recognition software developer. This person said obstacles are a "normal" part of the research-and-development process. Despite the challenges, the new handset is due out sometime next year.
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