Gadget talk: Googorola products? Plus Pebble smartwatch shipping, Firefox dev phone surfaces

What’s coming in gadgets, a roundup:

• OK, there is nothing concrete to speak of yet, but Google in its earnings call yesterday pointed to better days ahead for Motorola Mobility, the money-losing (it lost $353 million in the fourth quarter, an improvement from the previous quarter) phone and electronics maker it bought for billions of dollars.

“We’re really in the early days of Motorola with respect to Google’s acquisition of it,” Google CEO Larry Page said during the earnings call. The Googorola deal was announced in summer 2011 and closed in May 2012. Page talked about a “real potential to invent new and better experiences” when it comes to smartphones, something the Verge points out is in line with a December report by the Wall Street Journal that Motorola is developing an “X Phone” with a bendable screen and made with more durable ceramic materials. Also during yesterday’s call, CFO Patrick Pichette said there is a new product pipeline in the works after Google worked through Motorola’s existing product pipeline.

• Some might have been counting the hours: The long-tardy Pebble smartwatch has begun shipping. The watch, which will bring email, Facebook, Twitter and other apps to geeky wrists galore and will work with iPhone and Android, was a huge hit on crowd-funding site Kickstarter earlier this year, when it broke records by collecting a couple of million of dollars in orders in a few days, eventually totaling more than $10 million. (Also see Quoted: on how Pebble smartwatch has Kickstarted a platform.)

If you’ve been ticking off the days since the originally planned September release, though, try to contain your excitement. The first shipment batch contains only 500, according to Engadget, which also mentions that the iOS app has yet to be approved by Apple, but should be available for Android beginning tomorrow. At the Consumer Electronics Show a couple of weeks ago, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky told the Verge that about 15,000 of the watches were being produced in China each week. There were 85,000 orders by the end of the Kickstarter campaign.

• Finally, a couple of Firefox OS developer smartphones are going to be showed off in Brazil at the end of the month and released in February, according to various reports. A Mozilla representative reportedly touted the openness of the HTML5-based platform, something the nonprofit maker of the Firefox Web browser stressed last year when it announced its plans to build its mobile OS. (See Mozilla makes headway in web-based mobile apps.) There is no word on pre-orders or pricing for the two models of the smartphones, reportedly called Keon and Peak and made by Spanish manufacturer Geeksphone, yet. As we mentioned on GMSV a couple of weeks ago, other reports have said the phones will be made by China’s ZTE and will launch in Europe this year.


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