Motorola's declared "return to boldness" will include the Moto X, and the day before Independence Day, the company took out full-page ads in four major U.S. newspapers to announce that the smartphone will also give users new freedoms.
It's "the first smartphone that you can design yourself. Because today you should have the freedom to design the things in your life to be as unique as you are," the ad said.
Also notable, in the spirit of July 4: The Moto X will be the "first smartphone designed, engineered and assembled in the USA," it added.
The advertisement is white copy over a long, azure sky and two svelte, young people jumping into a rippling lake. It went on to say: "This is just the beginning. Imagine what will be possible when you have the world's best design, engineering and manufacturing talent located here in the USA."
The concept it touts—design your own phone—feels like Motorola finally behaving like a company with all the advantages of Google's brain power, instead of just a Google-owned company.
And still the ad—surely intentionally—is pure Apple.
Apple recently released a text-heavy print ad—a complement to the animation it used to kick off its Worldwide Develop Conference (and very reminiscent of the early ’90s Nike, Just Do It ads written by Janet Champ).
The Apple ad said, in part, in white font over an image:
"We don't believe in coincidence.
Or dumb luck.
There are a thousand 'no's'
For every 'yes.'
We spend a lot of time
On a few great things.
Until every idea we touch
Enhances each life it touches."
It's signed, "Designed By Apple in California."
The Google ad said, in part, in white font over an image:
"We knew this would be a challenge. In fact, some people said it couldn't be done. But we're not just any company. And nothing this exciting ever comes easily."
It's signed, "Designed by you. Assembled in the USA."
Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside discussed the Moto X at an AllThingsD event in May, saying it would be made in an old Nokia factory outside Fort Worth, Texas, and will be very sensor-based.
"The new phone will know when you take it out of your pocket, for example," said Woodside. "It anticipates my needs."
"Ad copy aside, it really does seem that Motorola is finally ready to emerge as a Google company, with something new and unique to offer, rather than as a tired also-ran with its best days behind it," Ken Hyers, a senior analyst with Strategy Analytics, told eWEEK.
Hyers added that he's "extremely curious" to know more exactly what Google means.
"If Motorola really does introduce something new and innovative in smartphone design, they have a great opportunity to gain attention and traction," Hyers explained. "But if they're just introducing new case colors or a choice of different-sized rectangular handsets, then I think it will be more difficult for them to create a lasting buzz around their new portfolio."