I was just sitting here thinking that I wouldn't upgrade my Galaxy Nexus with 4.2.1 until it breaks given how it literally handles everything I need it for, but if Motorola put out an unlocked AOSP device, I'd be all over it.
Though, I also remember how much I enjoy VZW coverage and how unlikely it is that Google is going to play ball with them anymore.
>For the X phone, an initiative being led by former Google product manager Lior Ron who specialized in mapping, Motorola wanted top-notch features for the phone's camera and photo software, such as better color saturation and the ability to take panoramic shots, two people familiar with the situation said. But some of the features were found to drain battery life or already have been incorporated into popular new devices, such as the iPhone 5 that launched earlier this year, they added.
....... uhm, what? Android beat iOS to panoramas and Photosphere was part of 4.2. I can't understand how "color saturation" drains the battery constantly. (Frankly the 4.2 stock camera kicks ass, especially combined with the new lock screen widgets. Very slick. One gesture, one tap to take a picture from a locked phone.)
I also don't understand the implication that this is Google hedging bets in case Samsung gets disappointed. Samsung is beginning to eat Apple's lunch in Android sales... why would they turn their back on Android?
Samsung's devices are tailored to their branded experience. The concern is that Samsung forks Android and makes it their own creature, in the same way that a Kindle Fire is tailored to the Amazon experience.
But that's so far out there, though. Samsung would have to build its own ecosystem, and we already know how hard that have proven for new entrants, even if they have billions of dollars to spend. Leaving the Play Store would be suicide for Samsung.