Google Inc. (GOOG:US)’s Motorola Mobility handset unit plans to unveil a new smartphone called Moto X by October, stepping up efforts to gain share from Apple Inc. (AAPL:US) in the market for handheld hardware.
The new phone will be manufactured near Fort Worth, Texas, creating about 2,000 jobs, Motorola Mobility Chief Executive Officer Dennis Woodside said yesterday in an interview at the D: All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Flextronics International Ltd. (FLEX:US) will make the device, said Renee Brotherton, a spokeswoman for the company.
Google is using new designs and products to make the most of last year’s $12.4 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings, its largest acquisition ever. It’s also racing to regain share lost to Apple in the $293.9 billion market for smartphones.
“There’s a lot of opportunity for us out there over the next couple of years,” Woodside said. “We’re trying to bring Motorola back to its roots.”
The Moto X, which will use two processors to conserve battery life, will include sensors to help it better understand what a user needs, Woodside said. For example, the phone will know when it’s turned on or being used in a vehicle.
By pledging to make smartphones in Texas, Google follows Apple, which last year said it will make Mac computers in the U.S. Apple’s plan will result the creation of about 200 jobs, if the company follows the pattern of other technology companies, labor economists said at the time.
Motorola, which uses Google’s Android operating system, ranked No. 4 among smartphone makers in the U.S. in March, with 8.5 percent market share, down from 9.1 percent in December, according to ComScore Inc. (SCOR:US)
Apple was No. 1, adding almost three percentage points to 39 percent from December, while Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), which also uses Android software, had 22 percent share. HTC Corp. (2498) had 9 percent.
Google’s Motorola Mobility also is looking at new ways wearable-computing devices could confirm a smartphone user’s identity, according to Regina Dugan, senior vice president of advanced technology and projects at Motorola Mobility.
For example, Motorola is working with a company that designs electronic tattoos that could be used for authentication, said Dugan, who also appeared at the conference yesterday. Motorola is reviewing a pill with a chip inside that could be used for authentication.
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