Zach Epstein of BGR examined a crop of Moto X screenshots which show new camera features, and has come to the conclusion that they reveal “Google’s plan to attack its own Android partners”:
What this means is that over the next few years, we may see real separation build between Google and its Android vendor partners. On one side we’ll have “open Android,” which companies like Samsung and HTC will use as the base for their own smartphone efforts.
But Google may reserve the best and most compelling new features for its own Motorola phones.
Setting aside the obviously sensational title and the extraordinary logical contortions Epstein has had to perform to create this (and many other) stories, there is a genuinely interesting question here: how will third parties react to Google producing their own Android hardware and putting $500 million of marketing muscle behind it?
The case study of Microsoft producing their own tablet hardware in the Surface is a good example — a huge advertising budget,1 unique hardware, and first-party support. It will be interesting to see how this pays out for Google.