Hello Moto X

Surprising no one, Motorola chief Dennis Woodside revealed at D11 that Motorola is tooling a new flagship Android device. This device, cleverly named Moto X, will be widely distributed and most likely the device that slipped through the FCC’s test labs last week. The phone is going to be made, at least in part, in the United States. Surprise surprise.

Look for the Moto X along with several other high-end Android phones this fall.

As Ryan detailed yesterday, Woodside revealed little else about the Moto X at his talk yesterday. He mentioned that the phone will be “contextually aware” meaning that the phone will know when it’s inside a pocket and when it’s taken out, when it’s inside a car and when it’s on a desk. Clever but hopefully Motorola has more tricks in the works too.

439px-Motorola_Transistor_Radio_1960The Android scene is expecting big things from Motorola. The American company is the only one most feel can stand up to the boring industrial machine that Samsung is quickly turning becoming. HTC is dying, LG doesn’t support its phones, and Google still can’t figure out how to get people its Nexus phones. What the Android world needs is a phone as exciting as the original RAZR with the magic of a StarTAC.

Motorola’s upcoming phone has been playing well on fansites and blogs for weeks now. The phone is hyped on the back of blue-sky expectations. Android fans want it to be something special.

Motorola has had its share of Android hits. The Droid line kicked the Android movement into high-gear and Motorola was responsible for the majority of Verizon’s early Android hits. The rebirth of the RAZR brought big screens and big batteries to Android. Yet with these successes, Motorola never achieved the same sort of success as Samsung.

Hopefully with Google’s tutelage, the Moto X and its stable mates, will be the big hit Motorola has yet to see. Hopefully Motorola and Google took notes on Samsung’s single brand strategy and will only release a small product line of quality devices. Hopefully Motorola won’t over advertise that this phone will be made in the USA.

50motorolaIt’s clear that high-tech manufacturing is coming back to the United States. For the longest time, Motorola, and Apple for that matter, built their wares in U.S. factories. Cheap labor and improved supply chain management drove these companies overseas. Motorola will need to carefully walk the line of advertising that its phone is made in North America but not to the point that it’s attempting to sell the phone on a gimmick. The phone needs to stand alone. And that’s a fine line.

“Made In America” is a powerful marketing phrase right now. It’s a popular talking point for American electronic companies. Apple’s Tim Cook talked up his company’s plans at D11 the day before Motorola’s CEO took the stage. American consumers eat this stuff up.

Once upon a time Motorola was a hotbed of innovation and American ingenuity. Let’s see if they can pull it off again.