Forbes contributor Nigam Arora was intrigued by Woodside’s description of the device’s capabilities, to the point where he called the phone Google’s “next big thing” in a recent piece. He was particularly impressed with the Moto X’s self-awareness capabilities, which will allow the phone to, for example, automatically open the camera app when the user is about to take a picture, or enable certain features as soon as the handset is removed from a pocket.
The X’s feature set indeed sounds intriguing, but the timing of the phone’s launch couldn’t be worse. As we pointed out when Motorola first began discussing the phone last month, a late Q3 or early Q4 launch pits the Moto X directly against Apple’s next-generation iPhone 5S. As many vendors have learned in the past, this is never a good idea.
What’s more, Samsung will likely release a new version of its flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note III, right around the same time as well. Samsung has stolen the Android limelight and launching a new Motorola phone in Samsung’s shadow makes the odds of success even slimmer.
The Moto X is shaping up to be a fantastic smartphone, but timing is everything. There is a silver lining on this cloud, though: Google’s deep pockets mean that whether or not the Moto X is a hit, there will be plenty more to come from Motorola.