August 2, 2013
Motorola Aims To Resuscitate Sales With Moto X
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Google's mobile phone unit Motorola is hoping that its newest handset, the Moto X, will revive the struggling division. The new model has customizable colors and even a natural wood case option. But the question remains: Will the ability to customize be enough to sell the Moto X and carve out a niche in an already crowded smartphone market?The new phone has a 4.7-inch screen, boasts "all-day" battery life, and will be priced at $199 under a two-year contract with most carriers. The full, unsubsidized price of the Moto X is set at $575. The US release is expected later this month or in early September. There is no release date set for Europe and other regions just yet.
This will be the first device released by Motorola Mobility since its acquisition by Google last year for $12.4 billion.
The new flagship phone is an attempt for Motorola to recapture market share after several years on the sidelines. A recent report from Strategy Analytics listed the top five handset manufacturers globally, and Motorola did not make the list based on shipping volume or market share, BGR reports.
The forthcoming phone will use a Snapdragon Pro chip and Motorola's X8 customizations, which allow for users to give the phone a personal look and feel, Fudzilla reports. The 4.7-inch screen offers a 720p resolution, which falls short of the 1080p panels on competing Android handsets. "We won't hold this against it, since going for higher resolutions on phone screens is practically a marketing gimmick. However, although it has a very spacious screen, it's significantly smaller and lighter than flagship droids such as the HTC One and Galaxy S4," the Fudzilla article said.
The new handset may just catch enough eyes to gain a bit of notoriety. BGR is calling the Moto X the "first true anti-iPhone," a claim derived from the fact that the Moto X is highly customizable compared to the iPhone's closed system. "Google is letting users customize their Moto X with different colors (including a wood pattern!), customized signatures and custom messages that appear when you flip on your phone. In this way, Google is betting that users will want a device they can personalize in ways they can't with the iPhone or Samsung's army of Galaxy devices," BGR writer Brad Reed writes.
While new customizable features will likely sell a few units, Cnet's Roger Cheng says the Moto X offers "a solid - but not cutting-edge - set of hardware features."
Although Cheng also calls the new handset an "anti-iPhone," he does not consider the Moto X an "iPhone killer." "Despite the gratuitous use of that title over the last few years, the iPhone has not been felled by any device, and Motorola's latest won't be that lucky phone."
While no single device has bested Apple's iPhone in the sales charts, handsets from other manufacturers are making significant headway. The Strategy Analytics report puts Samsung and Nokia ahead of Apple in terms of both the total volume of shipments and market share.