Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)‘s Android operating system has achieved quite a bit of success in the mobile space, but the tech giant has yet to make its entry into the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) marketplace. In comScore’s most recent estimates, Google’s OS held 53.6% of the smartphone platform market, above Apple (34.3%), RIM (7.8%), and Microsoft (3.2%).
Now, when we categorize the market by OEMs, we can see less of a one-horse race so to speak. According to comScore, Samsung held 26.3% of the smartphone OEM market, above Apple (17.8%), LG (17.6%), and Motorola (11.0%).
With that being said, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that Google’s Motorola Mobility division was working on an entry into the mobile OEM realm, dubbed the “X phone” by sources close to the project. Aside from the obvious connection with Motorola Mobility, which Google acquired for $12.5 billion earlier this year, the company’s new smartphone may include some “cutting-edge features,” according to the WSJ.
The most notable of these possible features include: (1) “a bendable screen,” (2) gesture-based controls, (3) a camera on par with that of the iPhone 5, and (4) an extension into the tablet market. In the original story, Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside said that the Google unit “will do something quite different than the current approaches,” mentioning that there’s still billions of consumers that haven’t entered the smartphone market yet.
While we don’t know much about the details of the rumored device, a 2013 launch is certainly possible, and it’s quite possible that the OEM space could be split up quite differently than the figures we mentioned above.
Apple bulls are looking forward to a TV and a low-cost smartphone (see 3 Things That Can Boost Apple in 2013), and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) investors are likely looking at the company’s potential entry into the hardware space with an equal amount of enthusiasm.
As one astute journalist has put it, “it is easier for Google to manufacture the [‘X phone’] and break into the market of hardware than it is for Apple to break into the search industry.”
Will this news have a significant effect on investors’ opinions about both tech companies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, and for more Google coverage, continue reading below: