Motorola head Dennis Woodside said during D11 on Wednesday that customers should expect a "handful" of new smartphones from the company this October.
According to Woodside, one of these new devices will be the Moto X which will be built in a 500,000-square-foot facility – formerly owned by Nokia – located outside Fort Worth, Texas. This will be the first smartphone manufactured here in the States although the SoC will be shipped in from Taiwan and the OLED screens from Korea. He said 70-percent of the phone will be assembled locally in the Texas plant which currently employs around 2,000 local workers.
Woodside assured the audience that Motorola will not access Google's Android code to get ahead of the competition. The search engine giant acquired Motorola Mobility just over a year ago, and one of the big fears stemming from Android partners has been that Motorola would take priority over all others. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open, the company said, and Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.
Woodside, who claimed the phone was actually in his pocket but couldn't be shown on stage, said Moto X will be "loaded" with sensors that draw very little power and are tightly integrated into the phone. He offered some examples, saying that it will know when the user takes it out of a pocket, and will act differently when the user's car is traveling 60 miles per hour (for safer use).
During GTC 2013 back in March, one of the big requests from developers was for more sensors. Of course, you can't simply cram more hardware into a smartphone or tablet without consequences. Form factors will always be locked in their strict power envelopes no matter how battery technology improves – go over that limit and devices get too hot to use. A four to five inch screen has a thermal envelope ranging between 2W and 4W whereas a ten inch tablet ranges between 6W to 10W (the screen itself takes between 1W and 2W).
However Motorola's upcoming phone seems to address that need for additional sensors, but at what cost to other features? What kind of battery will Moto X need? "[The phone is] more contextually aware of what's going on around it. It allows you to interact with it in very different ways than you can with other devices," Woodside added. Interesting.
Woodside said the phone will be available this fall and priced below competing smartphones like the iPhone 5.