With the MWC (Mobile World Congress) right around the corner, February 25-28, 2013, some speculation would seem to be in order. MWC is the preeminent event in the world of mobile communications. Anyone paying attention would have noticed that new mobile products were conspicuously absent at the recent CES (Consumer Electronics Show). That is apparently saved for the annual MWC.
We will see new smartphones and tablet computers and the latest components that will be used to make these miraculous devices even more miraculous. We can ignore the Apple (AAPL) noise, since Apple doesn't attend either the CES or the MWC. So who will be making the noise this year?
First of all will be Google (GOOG)/Motorola. Expect to hear about the Motorola X-phone at MWC. The current rumors expect a release of May 15th during the Google I/O event, yet another rumor claims that there are a few X-Phones in the wild, being tested, already. As long as this is about rumors and speculation, I will speculate that the X-Phone will be revealed at MWC and further, that enough pre-production units will be passed around for evaluation and benchmarking, so that the X-Phone will be all the smart or super phone discussion for the next few months.
While Apple might be all about secrecy, Google is all about revenue denial to Apple, So, a MWC unveiling and shipment by the I/O meeting in May seems reasonable. In the meantime, Motorola will allow pre-orders and those orders will be huge, based on the few that are available at MWC for testing and article writing. Done properly, the X-Phone will freeze new sales of nearly everything else.
What to expect from an X-Phone?
Google has hinted that long battery life is a big deal. Expect a surprisingly low power and high performance processor from Intel (INTC). Probably the Z2580 Clover trail+. There are some AnTuTu benchmark scores circulating on this little honey that are four times the next best processors. The processor is not the only power consumer in a smartphone. Memory and the display consume a great deal of the power budget in a smartphone. So expect some things like PCM (Phase Change Memory) from Micron (MU) used to shadow DRAM so DRAM can be powered down. There is also a power saving technique called "display self-scanning" that only updates the screen from the processor when the data changes, otherwise it refreshes from a low power memory and controller mounted directly on the display. This technology comes from Integrated Device Technology [IDTI], you heard it here first. Since a 4.8" display will dictate a larger case, expect a larger battery as well. The extra weight of larger battery will be offset by a lighter carbon fiber case and a lighter display.
We probably get a 12 megapixel super camera from Sony (SNE). For all of us who have drowned a cellphone, the X-Phone will be water resistant. If automotive computers can survive salt water immersion, why does a phone die with a little sprinkle of water?
These and all the other latest features will make the X-Phone more expensive to manufacture, but, since Google is only interested in Apple not winning, the price will be just over half the price of an unlocked iPhone, about $350. The phone will be bought directly from Motorola, pre-set-up with your Google account and apps, and you will be able to call or walk into your preferred carrier and activate the X-Phone in no more than five minutes. The unsubsidized X-Phone will allow a no-contract data, voice, and text plan for as little as $30/month. The two year total cost of an X-Phone will be half the cost of a subsidized iPhone.
Things will be different for the mobile world beginning March 1, 2013.