May 30, 2013
Moto X To Be First Smartphone Made In USA
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
During yesterday´s edition of the ongoing All Things D conference, Google´s Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside announced his company´s intentions to release the first smartphone to ever be assembled in the United States. The Moto X will be manufactured in a plant outside of Fort Worth, Texas, which will employ about 2,000 people.
This is big PR news for a company that laid off some 2,400 employees last year and lost $271 million in the first quarter of 2013. Woodside said he was carrying a Moto X in his pocket at the time of the interview and made some far-fetched claims about what the phone can do, but didn´t reveal it to interviewer Walt Mossberg or the audience. Joined with Regina Dugan, head of Motorola Advanced Technology & Projects, Woodside also discussed the future of Motorola and their place in the Android landscape during the Wednesday conversation.
Woodside also offered few details on the availability of their new flagship device, saying only that it should be ready between June and October.
"The ability to engage with the phone is different than competitors,” he said during his interview. For instance, the CEO claimed the phone is constantly aware of what´s going on around it and will change its behavior accordingly. If the phone is in a car traveling at 60 miles per hour, the it will act differently (presumably limiting text messages in some capacity) than it would if it were stationary.
Woodside also bragged that the Moto X can take a picture simply by taking the phone out of your pocket, but he did not explain how exactly this works. He´s not too worried about battery life either, mentioning that the company has developed a two-processor system to keep the battery alive longer.
He also said this new phone is just the beginning of an overhaul of their entire product line.
"We'll launch a handful of smartphones that aren't the end, but show where the company is heading," said Woodside.
Shortly after his interview, the company released a press statement heralding the Moto X as the first smartphone to ever be assembled in the US.
“We´re not talking about just a handful of units either — available this summer, every Moto X sold in the USA will be assembled in Fort Worth, Texas, making it the first smartphone ever assembled domestically,” reads the statement.
With most of their operations located in the states, Motorola claims moving their assembly line to Texas will help them respond more quickly to market trends and create a leaner supply chain.
“And as a part of Google we´re being encouraged to take big bets on things that make a difference,” reads the statement.
Though the Moto X will be made in Texas, Motorola will continue to work with Flextronics, their manufacturing partner which has plants in Brazil and China. Flextronics will also operate the Texas plant, and they´re currently hiring hands to build the new contextually aware smartphone.
Building a smartphone in the US is a big bet for the Google-owned company, but it´s likely to be a safe bet. According to a Gallup Poll released in April, 64 percent of Americans said they´d be willing to spend a little extra to buy a product made in the US, and another 88 percent said they make a special effort to buy American-made goods.