The cost of an unlocked unit is $300 to $600 LESS than that of other devices with comparable specs, so mobile carriers should be able to offer the Moto G to the masses for hundreds of dollars less than any iPhone or high-end Android device by Samsung, LG, etc.
Mobile carriers could offer the Moto G profitably at a negative price -- for example, zero money upfront plus an instant $300 coupon rebate if one commits to a two-year plan. Or they could offer it with much cheaper monthly bills than economically possible with other comparable phones -- for example, 25% off one's monthly bill if one commits to a two-year plan.
Edits: added context and examples.
I think it's probably a smart play for Moto/Goog to target this space, but "high end" it ain't.
Basically, the days when a <$200 Android was painful to use (click, wait for the UI to figure out what you just did) are past.
I Will never forget my visit to canada in 2009. I get there, purcuase a prepaid sim card, and data does not work. go back to the store, and I am told you have to have a contract for data. wtf? LTE/3g all cost the same here both on prepaid and and contract. As long as you have coverage.
For instance, my HTC One has a 1080p screen vs 720p, twice the RAM, four times the storage, and a 1.7Ghz quad with twice as much on-die cache as the 1.2GHz Quad in this thing.
Yes literally, my orange phone rings off the hook cause I'm so popular.
It just has a similar clock speed. Not similar performance.
Doubt US carriers are going to let that happen, I haven't seen many negative prices except on feature phones.
Only Tmobile seems to be willing to let the consumer take advantage of lower handset prices. Also, wonder how much Motorola makes(or loses) per Moto G at these prices.
Anyway I hope the Moto G does better than the Moto X. Even with the massive hype and the continuing ad blitz on TV(I see around 3 to 4 Moto X ads in about 2 hours TV viewing) about customization and the always-on voice features, it doesn't seem to be selling well.
Starting from the 500K sales figure in the 3rd quarter and generously adding, say, a million more in Q4, the rumored ad budget of $500M  would mean Google is spending ~$333 per handset in advertisements.
That would probably add more to the already heavy Motorola losses and Google shareholders would soon be questioning the merits of subsidizing Motorola's losses.
Motorola claims it doesn't sell them at a loss but hasn't said more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/14/technology/motorola-to-off...
Or maybe I am just clumsy.
Other than "find my phone" features, I can't help you with losing it, however.
Seeing Motorola as "a Google company" is really weird to me.(https://www.moto-g.com/ ), for some reason it makes me feel like Google is going to become the next GE or something.
When GE was founded, it was a new kind of company for the time, and in the same way, Google is a new kind of company for our time, together with companies like Amazon -- their business model is built around leveraging the Internet, in the same way that GE was built around leveraging America's burgeoning industry.
Furthermore, Google manages to bring in a third of the revenue of GE with a sixth of the employees, and their net incomes are remarkably close. Think about how many products and services Google already offers, and how many more we already know are in the works. Because it's software, you don't as readily perceive these facets of this admittedly very large organization as you might with a company like GE, whose primary business is to produce a diverse array of physical objects.
But I think the real test for this phone's market share will be the subsidized price that carriers offer it at, which would have to be substantially lower than current subsidized flagship smartphones. I don't think most smartphone consumers value unlocked phones enough that they would pay a similar amount for one as they would pay for a subsidized iPhone 5S. A subsidized 5C would still be even cheaper than the unlocked Moto G.
A subsidized $50 Moto G vs. a subsidized $100 iPhone 5C though? I could definitely see that taking off.
The Moto G would be a straight-up ripoff on a traditional contract. I expect it to be a hit in the prepaid market, however.
Not that I, as a Brazilian consumer, am not used to getting dicked on hardware prices for everything. But reading $179 over and over again is kind of making me want to punch my screen.
So, no, it's not because of taxes. Unless the cost of production in Brazil is precisely 60% the price of production in the US, this is just plain markup on a market used to it, so they abuse it while still being below the other high-markup devices.
For instance, depending on how far along local production is, Motorola may well have imported launch stock. Or Motorola may be worried they'll end up stuck between importing stock or leaving sales on the table if they underestimated Brazilian demand. Or maybe there are issues with some imported parts or ...
Once they reach a steady-state where they can forecast demand and Brazil is comfortably a net exporter of Moto Gs, it should be different, but, in the short run, Motorola has sensible reasons to be cautious.
It's a huge effort in dark math to explain the prices these companies put up. There's a lot of "blame the government" and people love to do that, not enough "we're being ripped off by these companies".
Even products with massive tax brakes are among the most expensive in the world. It's not solely a tributary or legislative issue.
It's great for consumers when price comes down, but that could leave businesses fighting to try get prices down and reduce overall profit, meaning they're unable to throw as much into R&D, or cut back on customer support or a dozen other areas. It's certainly an interesting marketplace at the moment, most manufacturers seem to be slashing prices reasonably heavily.
Or not, given that Motorola has been operating at a loss for quite some time now.
What it does is compete very well against the iPhone4, 4S, S3, and older premium phones.
If you're adding a line to a family plan and want a phone that isn't basic, then this becomes very appealing as the iOS/Samsung/HTC/Nokia alternative will cost you either a 2 year subscription, or be $300 or more unlocked.
Considering people will still buy iPhones because they want something simple, the attack is really against Samsung and other manufacturers.
If I had to choose between G a S4 and both costed $200, I would immediately go for the G.
Having just bought a Nexus 5, I can see how usable it is, but how frustrating it would be for, say, my parents to use unless I got them on BigLauncher, or did all the setup for them and support as well.
Well that's life I guess.
I could maybe have held off and gotten a Nexus 5, but it wasn't clear how much it was going to sell for, or exactly when. I had previously tried out a N4, and found it acceptable (other than the lack of a physical keyboard), so I just went for it. No regrets.
But it is out there and more than one network now - but I live in London so kind of spoilt compared to parts of highland Scotland still to see a mobile signal (lucky peeps).
But as said it is not priced well IMHO and if anything America may well have better price bundles with regards to 4G. Now 3G I think the UK is around 3x cheaper. Heck I get unlimited 3G and SMS and plenty of minutes for £15 a month, never seen anything as close for America. But that is a less dense area and later in the day to get 3G compared to the UK. So maybe they invested into kit that is more cheaply upgraded to 4G basestation wise compared to earlier models. But the UK is after all the size of a whole state in America and with that easier population density wise to cost justify rollouts. Albiet UK goverment flaffing about of spectrum sales and the UK mobile market getting burned by paying over the price for the 3G spectrum many years back (rare rare cose of a goverment selling something of not underpriced, indeed only case I can think of).
EE (aka was T-Mobile until they merged with Orange) https://explore.ee.co.uk/coverage-checker/?wt.mc_id=ON_EE_V_...
So 4G is out there, but price wise - naaa. That said it is not covering the entire UK, though I can find places in the UK which get no mobile signal 2G onwards. Have to love the highlands in Scotland.
I'm assuming they're talking about the display outperforming (bizarre wording) the iPhone5S? Because the stats don't seem to make it comparable much less leading the current performance champ...
I realized, this was genius! They could ensure only wealthy customers used their service, creating a vacuum in which the upper class could use transportation in style and comfort, without having to interface with "those kinds" of people. Also ensuring their customer base was (relatively) well-behaved and polite.
Hopefully cheaper phones like this can fuck with these digital social classes.
It would be an incredible effort for little usage in a world where the smart phone is becoming the default phone world wide. It's the same reasoning why they don't have have a windows phone app either. The amount of work it would be to create a J2ME app that works on many dumbphone models would probably be 10x, not to mention the difficulty in finding people who would even work in such a dead end platform.
That sounds much more likely than some digital class nonsense.
Edit: Also the assumption that people with smartphones are going to be better behaved than normal is... not based in reality. It's not like taxis are stopping for e.g. homeless people that camp out inside the taxi all day.
Instead of just making one simple web 1.0 mobile site that works everywhere, doesn't limit your customer base, and takes less time and money to develop.
And it's not nonsense. I'll bet you that some basic research on demographics of the user base would show a clear separation in the economic disparity of cab users vs lyft users.
Why the separation? Easier access to cabs. Poor people will find it more difficult to access the internet or a smartphone, but they can get easy access to a plain-old telephone or desktop internet access.
The assumption is based on socioeconomic class differences, and is perceived rather than actually noticeable in difference, but i'm not going to repeat what you can find on wikipedia. The other aspect is that rich people may be perceived to tip better.
It sure looks nice otherwise, AND it has an FM radio. I hate that most new models have dropped that.
It's Verizon which has decided explicitly not to be compatible with phones which works everywhere else in the world.
It's like an ISP which decides that it doesn't want to use TCP/IP, but instead goes off and makes their own network-protocol, which requires its own custom OS preloaded on customer-computers.
You can hardly blame phone-vendors for not being on that ship. It's much more profitable to make one model which works everywhere.
Also, you do realize that CDMA is much older than VZW and wasn't created just to create incompatibilities?
not in some european countries, FM radio means you have to pay ~20 euro/year per device for radio receiving license in some countries. Stupid, but it means this phone is useless for us as a corporate phone.
At first, Android needed faster phones that it was getting from OEMs, but they went way overboard. Samsung soaks up a lot of that excess horsepower with bloatware.
Here is a $200 phone with 4(!!!) cores and a very robust GPU. Even that is probably a bit more than neccessary. Android 4.4 got some performance tuning. Once ART is the default VM for typical OEM builds, it should be even less apparent why you need a monster CPU chip.
The only thing a thumping CPU gives you is the ability to ignore what your bad apps and OEM bloatware are doing to performance longer than otherwise. Disable the boatware and clear out the sketchy apps you don't use and that Tegra 3 is just fine.
didn't work during previous 20+ years of PC era.
This might be my next. What's for sure is I'm never buying another $600 phone again.
So, unlocked, is this thing jail-breakable/cyanogenmodable or similar?
What's a reasonable expectation for how many years I could keep it security upgraded?
But yeah, $600-900... never again.
This is probably still too expensive for another billion people.
I think the most recent version of android is the most important part. really.
It's closer to the 2012 N7 Quad 1.3/1Gb RAM.
Still a hell of a lot of phone/screen for the money.
I agree that a cheap performant phone is what is quite revolutionary. Google/Motorola does it right.
If this had been around when I bought my N4 I would have been very tempted (as I just want something that is a decent mobile web browser, I don't really use Apps at all).
That's running on a stock Galaxy Nexus.
Motorola still hasn't posted a profit since Google's purchase. I don't see how this product is going to turn those tables.
It could be they will simply become Google's hardware R&D arm and effectively a cost-center.
That's what's wrong with dumbphones. I want multi-year battery life, so I stay with my solar calculator.
ZTE and other have already made 50 dollar phones using Android and Windows + Asha won't be far behind at $60.
Motorola has a long ways to go (4x price reduction) to truly get their android devices into India, China And other poorer regions of South America and Africa.
The Moto G looks really compelling and if its available for this price in India I would buy it in a heartbeat. If this phone is as good as claimed (and thats a big if) then Samsung and Nokia stand to lose a lot of ground.
And as for the $50 price point I'm not sure you can provide a true smartphone experience at that price.
There is a lack of usable smartphones in this price range and the longer it goes unaddressed the more ground Android will lose to phones like the Lumia 520.
The blog says it will be available in India in January.
Sorry if I sound a bit rude, but it's easy to sit on an armchair and comment about stuff like the company's CEO and decide on what's best for a company without actually having access to the company's internal data, but with all due respect, I think this phone is priced pretty competitively and I think Motorola would have done their fair share of research before claiming this to be a 'globally accessible' phone. Also, your idea that smartphones should be priced around $60 to be 'globally accessible' seems pretty skewed without any data provided to justify it.
They say their target research shows that people are spending $200 on poor quality phones. If that's the target they're going for and that's what they research shows, I don't think they missed the mark.
However, you're ignoring a key factor, over time manufacturing efficiencies will bring the cost of the Moto G down, while the quality remains the same. In a year or 2 it will still be a good phone, in 5 years it will still be a decent phone at the low end of the market. But by then the cost could be $100 or even as low as $50.
The original iPhone which started this market was only released 6 years ago. 5 years ago the flagship phone for android was the HTC Dream/T-mobile G1. That was top-end at the time and no way could it be considered "still a decent phone at the low-end" today. I think you're underestimating progress in this industry