Smartphone ads, thus far, have tended to follow a few fairly standard blueprints – there's the high-concept ad, full of pretty pictures and pompous voice-over about “simplifying everything” or whatever the slogan du jour is. Then there's the hater ad, where the company indirectly but obviously makes fun of a chief competitor. And there's the shock-and-awe ad, where they just can't fully express to you how amazing the phone is.
Get ready to experience all of these and more, in spades, in the coming months. Because Motorola, according to the Wall Street Journal, is primed to make a serious run at the high end of the U.S. smartphone market.
[MORE ANDROID: What’s in the cards for Android 5.0?]
How serious, you ask? The Journal says Motorola's backers at Google have authorized the spending of what could be half a billion dollars on marketing for the Moto X, and full-page ads have already begun to highlight the device's customizeability and U.S.-based manufacturing.
Credit: Ad Age
Most of what we know about the Moto X comes from from AllThingsD's D11 conference at the end of May, when Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside teased features like energy efficiency and location awareness.
Spanish-language news site ADSL Zone says that Moto is also planning to try and emulate the success of the Nexus 4 in the European market by offering a close-to-high-end handset at the aggressively low price of $326. (H/T: Android Guys)
No two ways about it – we've known for awhile that newly Google-fied Motorola would have to make a big move sometime in the future, and it looks like that's going to happen soon. Rumors are beginning to settle on August as the Moto X's release date, so hopefully, we'll see what happens soon.
In fact, PhoneArena says that it's obtained a leaked “roadmap” document from Verizon, showing an Aug. 23 release date for the Moto X. The document also shows that the long-awaited Verizon debut of the HTC One will take place on Aug. 1.
The usual caveats about anonymous sources apply, but the recent spate of encouraging noises about the Verizon One suggests that this could finally be happening.
(H/T: Droid Life)
Speaking of the One, it's a difficult device to tinker with, as you may have guessed from its tightly-engineered build and monobody construction. That's annoying to serious gadget geeks, but probably not the end of the world. I mean, hey, people still bought those Other Phones.
However, according to Engadget, HTC has a tool that can be used to safely pop the metal back off of the phone and replace it when repairs are done. Sounds great, huh?
Well, not so much, because it turns out that the Taiwanese company isn't going to let anybody else get their grubby mitts on it – designer Justin Huang said HTC will keep it to themselves. Well, geez, fine, Justin. Didn't want to look in there anyway.
While HTC is being lame about its cool repair tools, it's doing a lot better, to my great surprise, on naming its products. A report posted to mobiFlip (auf Deutsch) says that the company is getting ready to release a One Max and One Mini, which are presumably larger and smaller versions of the One, respectively. Of course, knowing how silly HTC is about this kind of thing, they've probably named the bigger phone the Mini, and vice versa. Or the Max will be a completely different phone, and the larger One will be called the One XL or something dumb.
The Mini and the Max are apparently heading for a release sometime this month, if mobiFlip's leaked documents are to be believed.
(H/T: Android Guys)
In case you've been living under a rock, Google came out with a new version of the Maps app for Android this week. It's, well, pretty damn good, according to grey eminences like David Pogue of the New York Times.
That's all well and good, but I'm personally more excited that this has happened:
That's right – Crazy Taxi, one of the best mindless arcade games in the history of mindlessness or arcades, is now available for Android. I haven't yet played it (though you can rest assured I'm going to rectify that in short order), but it seems to preserve the good-humored insanity of the original, down to the 1990s punk rock soundtrack.
Email Jon Gold at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.