Motorola has begun advertising the Moto X, the first phone built in conjunction with its overlords at Google. Just one problem: Motorola hasn’t really said what the Moto X is yet.
The ad, which appears today in several major newspapers, is more of a tease–a knowing wink at the tech junkies who’ve been following all the Moto X rumors and hints so far.
“Designed by you,” it says. “Assembled in the USA.”
We already know what the second part of that statement means. In confirming the existence of the Moto X last month, Motorola said that it will be assembling the phones in a factory in Fort Worth, Texas. Some of the components will be made here as well, though others will come from suppliers in Asia. (For customers outside the United States, the Moto X will be assembled in China and Brazil.)
Being made in America isn’t just about patriotism. Motorola said in May that assembling here allows the company to “iterate on design much faster, create a leaner supply chain, respond much more quickly to purchasing trends and demands, and deliver devices to people here much more quickly.”
That might actually help explain the first half of the teaser text. If a report by Android and Me is correct, the Moto X may allow customers to choose the casing design of their phones–a nod to the iPhone protective case craze but without the requisite added bulk. This claim has been validated somewhat by Guy Kawasaki, a Motorola adviser at Google who in March asked how great it would be if you could customize your phone in the same manner as a Porsche Exclusive. It’s unclear what level of customization will be allowed, but if users are choosing build materials and design patterns, local production may help meet those highly varied demands from customers. (Earlier, there were rumors that Moto X users could customize their tech specs as well, but that idea was eventually debunked.)
Motorola still hasn’t given a clear indication of when the Moto X will launch, or on what carrier. A press release from May said the phone would launch this summer, but Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside has said it will be out by this fall. This could be a situation where one wireless carrier gets the phone as an exclusive before it becomes more broadly available. We’ll find out soon enough. In the meantime, check out our Moto X rumor roundup for everything we think we know about this flagship phone.