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Motorola: Google to release Moto X smartphone by autumn

Google's promised Moto X smartphone didn't turn up at the Google I/O developer conference earlier this month but it will arrive by October, according to Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside.

Woodside, speaking at All Thing D's D11 conference in California, "confirmed the Moto X name, said the phone would be made in the US, and indicated that a variety of always-on sensors would help define the product," the site reported.

Motorola Mobility, acquired by Google for $12.5 billion (£8.3 billion) last August, is planning to release "several new phones" in autumn, All Things D quoted Woodside as saying after speaking on the main stage at the event. The Moto X, formerly known as Google's "X Phone," uses "battery-friendly sensor technology" similar to that found in Motorola Mobility's MotoActv smartwatch.

"What Motorola learned was how to manage very-low-power sensors. They took those learnings to the smartphone," Woodside told All Things D, hinting that the MotoActv's constant monitoring of a wearer's location and heart rate would be incorporated in the coming Moto X smartphone.

During his talk at D11, Woodside said Motorola's entire smartphone product line "will be revamped," according to CNET.

"We'll launch a handful of smartphones that aren't the end, but show where the company is heading," the tech site quoted him as saying.

Google is believed to have gobbled up the consumer electronics arm of Motorola last year as much for its impressive array of patents as for its actual product portfolio. But Farber noted that Motorola Mobility's performance outside of the courtrooms where it has battled the likes of Microsoft and Apple in recent months has been distressing, even for an asset acquired mainly for its IP.

Indeed, Google executives warned that Motorola Mobility was "a work in progress" back in January — months before the search giant revealed that its acquisition lost $271 million (£179 million) in the first quarter of 2013.

"We're excited about the business. [But] we're really in the early days of Motorola with respect to Google's acquisition of it," Google CEO Larry Page told investors and analysts during the company's Q4 2012 earnings call.

Six months after acquiring Motorola Mobility, Google executives said they were still working through 12-18 months of product plans they inherited from the phone maker. When the search giant ponied up for Motorola, many industry watchers assumed Google would make Motorola devices running its Android operating system a centerpiece of its mobile strategy.

So far, that hasn't come to pass. But not for want of gossip about Google's secret plans for new devices from its new mobile hardware division.

Last December, details began to leak out about a rumoured Motorola "superphone" featuring exotic new technologies like a bendable display and a ceramic case. We probably won't know for a few months whether any of that stuff is being built into the Moto X, but at least now we can say for sure that there really is such a thing as the "X Phone."