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Motorola teases Moto X, the smartphone 'designed by you'

Maybe everyone's a designer now, not just of pretty, flat icons but of entire phones too.

File under "could be something huger than huge... or could be simple marketing and nothing more": Motorola, now of course under Google's corporate umbrella, is taking out a full-page ad this Wednesday in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and good old USA Today to brag about how the Moto X smartphone is being manufactured in America--and "designed by you," whatever that might mean.

Motorola still isn't showing the phone, naming a release date, or providing concrete details. The ad simply includes some vagueish teaser copy and an image of a swimsuit-clad couple leaping off a dock into an inviting-looking lake--probably somewhere in New England, or the heartland, or some other place full of freedom and American exuberance.

Anyway, forget the image for now, because the record really scratches at the tagline: "Designed by you. Assembled in the USA." The ad's copy is conspicuously lacking in detail. We don't yet know if "designed by you" signals something as frivolous as Motorola letting you choose an image for the back of the phone, like a personalized credit card printed with your favorite snapshot, or if it's as game-changing as letting you mix and match specs for a built-to-order phone, like you're customizing the processor, storage, and other components in a laptop.

Everything's bigger in Texas, they say, and if the Ft. Worth plant that assembles this thing becomes to smartphones what Build-a-Bear is to overaccessorized plush toys, this could be the biggest story in the mobile space. Or it could just be a nifty ad that attracts a lot of attention right before a holiday weekend. We'll see.


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