Since Google Inc. (GOOG) first announced they had acquired hardware manufacturer Motorola Mobility LLC in August 2011, they’ve made clear their intentions to loosen Samsung and Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) stranglehold on the American smartphone market. Those two companies between them control 62 percent of the US market, while Motorola holds a relatively paltry 7.8 percent.
But that could soon change. At an event in New York on August 1 Google will unveil the Moto X, the first smartphone developed solely by Google. And it could be Google’s last chance to finally become a major player in the smartphone game.
While the Moto X is the first Google-directed phone, it’s not the first product released by Mobility under Google’s tenure. Mobility has already released the Atrix 4G and Droid RAZR phones and the Motorola Xoom tablet since August 2011. But the products haven’t done especially well, and embarrassingly lagged behind other brands utilizing Google’s Android operating system.
Motorola has simply lacked a product that makes a bold enough statement to pull customers away from Apple and Samsung. With Google now at the helm, they’re hoping they can change that.
Google could use another revenue stream. While the tech giant is still the unquestioned leader in search and the largest internet company on the planet, they still aren’t immune to disappointing quarters, as with the second quarter of 2013 that saw them miss analyst expectations.
Prior to the Google acquisition, Mobility had lost money five straight quarters, including a $342 million loss in Q2 2013. To pull Mobility out of their spiral, the Moto X will need to make a big splash.
Google has been largely secretive about what the product will be like. All that is know for sure is that it will be manufactured in the US, will have a highly customizable appearance, and a camera that can be activated with the flick of the wrist.
Google is up 1.61 percent to hit $901.77 a share.
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