The Motorola X isn’t a high-end device by today’s standards, so it has two main claims to fame basically: the overall user experience (enhanced by such features as the always-on listening), and the customization options.
The latter are a completely new thing for the mobile world, but apparently Motorola could have had some competition in this space. According to a report from The Verge, HTC considered launching a ‘Design Studio’ for its 8XT Windows Phone that is being sold by Sprint.
The HTC Design Studio was going to be a Web app, and it would let you order a custom 8XT. Options would have included different color options for the speaker, accents, two-tone highlights, and personal engraving.
This underwent some testing before it got canned. The reason seems to be that both HTC and Sprint considered it to be too complex of an undertaking, and there were also the always prevalent concerns about costs.
So that’s how Motorola became the pioneer in this space. Undoubtedly HTC is watching the Moto X customization experiment closely, and if it will prove to be a success the Taiwanese company may decide to try something like this in the future – this time for real, hopefully.