This phone looks like a game changer to me, because it has the specs of a high-end smartphone but is priced like a crappy low-end one.
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.
Note that the iPhone 5s also has 1GB of RAM and has a similar CPU speed (1.3GHz). I feel you on the LTE portion, but much of the targeted market has no opportunity to use LTE. Maybe they could have a Moto G+ that costs $50-75 more and includes LTE.
But the iPhone 5s has a much more capable CPU, you can't compare both based purely on clock speeds. Each Cortex-A7 should be slower clock for clock than an Cortex-A9, so it should put the single threaded CPU performance between the iphone 4s and the iPhone 5, although it can maybe outperfom an iphone 5 in highly threaded tasks.
i just recently tried an Android device with a 1Ghz Dual Core, 800x480 4inch screen and Android 4.1 and it was quite painful to use. Not very responsive, scrolling lagged on the browser or content heavy apps like facebook/instagram to the point that it was really annoying.
Seems to be more of an Android problem though, as a similarly priced and specced Windows Phone didn't have these problems.
LTE is available in Africa. look into the mobile industry in Africa in some ways we have leap frogged . theres an entire generation of tweens whos access to the net is via mobile.
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.
It's basically the same thing as a Nexus 4 was. Modern hardware, priced under the competition, but no LTE out of the box. Some people were able to enable the LTE on some bands on that, so we'll see if this is a similar crippledware device that hackers can unlock.
>Mobile carriers could offer the Moto G profitably at a negative price
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.
I've never understood why the good cell phones (unlocked) always cost something like 500, 600 euros. Glad to see someone trying to push the prices down, especially if it's not Samsung or Apple, to help keep some variety in presence.
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.
Regarding the latter part of your comment, it's actually interesting to compare GE to Google for several reasons.
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.
This sounds like a great offering for an unlocked smartphone. I'm personally in the market for a cheap, unlocked smartphone, and if this is as good as the reviews sound, I'll probably buy one straight away.
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.
Sure, but there's so much differential that it would make sense to buy a 5S on a contract using a payday loan, put it on eBay, and then use the proceeds to pay off the expensive loan, buy the Moto G, and go buy a bunch of groceries for your family with the difference.
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.
It's an excellent price for Latin America, I don't know other parts of the world, at $200 USD it will kill other smartphone vendors (Samsung and other Android mostly http://qz.com/145704/slides-mobile-is-eating-the-world/). Also note that latam region already have the same amount of smartphone sales than Europe or US/Canada.
The Moto G is manufactured in Brazil and is priced as if it was imported. In fact, perhaps as a slap in the face of the consumer, it's priced exactly as if it was imported. There's a 60% importation tax, which means that importing a 179 dollar phone goes for exactly 650 reais, which is what they're pricing it.
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.
There are a lot of non-abusive reasons why Motorola might start by pricing the Moto G as if it were imported, even if most of them will be manufactured locally.
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.
VAT in Brazil is lower than in the UK. It's not really substantial, not as to explain a 100 dollar increase in a product. There are other taxes that are levied on production and sale (the VAT equivalent is just one), but the complexity of the tributary system is used as an excuse by electronics producers for the increased prices.
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.
I wonder how much Motorola makes per handset at that price point, which could be slightly concerning for the business overall. Google can get away with tiny margins on their physical devices as they're about pushing traffic back to their services, making more money residually, but Motorola makes money by selling hardware for a profit.
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.
The Moto G launch featured a large number of accessories (covers, shells, headphones, ...). I suspect part of the plan here is to price the phone aggressively so they can make more money on accessories.
No way this competes with real high end phones like S4, HTC One, iPhone5 or later.
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.
I actually think that Moto G offers bigger value for the avg consumer than S4 or HTC One while costing half as much. It doesn't have shitty software addons, it will have quicker updates, the design is better (and the color options is a nice bonus), it looks more comfortable to hold. (And for me, the not-huge size is big plus. I have relativeli large hands but I'm baffled by the appetite for 5" or even more massive phones.)
If I had to choose between G a S4 and both costed $200, I would immediately go for the G.
This. The incredible thing is that if you bought a high end phone last generation, this is still a great upgrade from what you have, and it's 1/4 of the price you paid last time (assuming off contract). I'm actually tempted to ditch my Galaxy Nexus because I'm not excited enough by the N5 or other current phones to spend a huge amount of money on them, but I would certainly pay for a spec bump if it comes cheap enough.
Let me qualify my statement. People will buy Apple because the perceive it's simpler. Apple spends a lot (time|money) on making subtle interactions discoverable. This is simply not the case on the Android side, though it's getting better.
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.
So you just missed the cutoff for the refund? That's a bummer.
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.
UK does have LTE or 4G as some call it. Not that it is priced attractivly enough for anybody to use it compared to the lovely 3G deals out there. That and some of the 3G services are more than fast enough and I even used 3G for a game tornament few years back and won.
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).
This is a great product/market fit. Full Kudo's to google on this. If it is a success, i think they will get a Halo effect for their brand. That being said, lets hop there's no surprises in the SW bundle, performances, settings etc.
I was talking to representatives from Lyft at a festival here in Baltimore, and I asked them if they had any plans to support non-smartphones like mine, or any other way to use their service. "No" was the answer.
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.
Actually I'm fairly certain that is not the thought process at all at lyft. There are many poor minimum wage workers and students with smartphones in the USA.
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.
Or perhaps maybe they realised that most people, especially those that might use their app, are likely to have a smartphone or get one soon. That investing on making a service targeting other platforms is a waste of time and money?
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.
You're saying basically that investing money in developing your product to gain more customers is a waste. You're also saying it somehow makes more sense to develop two different applications for two different platforms and depend on a THIRD service's platform (Facebook).
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.
>highly prized in countries outside of North America
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.
It would be very 'premium' if it supported Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) right out of the box. The specs only mention Bluetooth 4.0, but sadly that's not enough for real BLE support on Android pre 4.4 KitKat. An unexpensive Android smartphone that works with my Fitbit Flex and other BLE devices would be awesome.
I hoped it is based on the X8 architecture, but is just "normal". So it makes not sense to compare it with Moto X, is a different phone, different target, is no "little brother", more like a distant "poor cousin".
I would claim that "flagship" Android smartphones are an unsustainable business model.
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.
>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.
I don't follow Android that closely. How is the performance of this phone? Cheap phones like this will help get Android into the hands of another billion people. It's probably more important to have a more recent version of Android than the fastest CPU.
It's quad core. Looks like an excellent phone for the price. Interesting that Motorola is one-uping the Nexus to some degree here (the Nexus is closer to being a flagship, but this is significantly cheaper).
This might be my next. What's for sure is I'm never buying another $600 phone again.
It's quad core cortex A7 @1.2 Ghz, that's not even in the same league as the 2 year old Galaxy Nexus (dual cortex A9 @ 1.2). This is in no way comparable to any modern flagship smartphone performance wise.
You might want to factory reset - after all those incremental upgrades it can be worthwhile. My wife's GNex is on 4.3 stock and it had some lag before I reset it via a fresh burn of 4.3 factory image. Chrome runs better than acceptably on it. (Or are you on < 4.3 - in that case root and download/run LagFix free app to force TRIM. Pre 4.3 it makes a difference.)
got an unlocked LG L9 months ago for $179 with a 4.5 inch screen and LTE. It has been discontinued now, but I have been wondering why LG seemed to be the only company capable of coming out with decent spec phones at decent prices.
I'm from India and I've been looking to buy a smartphone in this price range for sometime. The Lumia 520 seemed really attractive as it was the only phone in the $200 price range that wasn't crap.
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.
>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.
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.
Woodside said that the average worldwide is more around the $200 mark.
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.
Nokia has been making great windows phones for cheap like the 521 that routinely available for as little as 70 bucks. The hardware is lower spec as compared to this one but windows phone is known to run well on slower hardware. It will be interesting to see how well Android runs on this.
I have recently returned from business trips to China and India and it's a fair statement to say that people are either spending a whole bunch of money on flagship phones ($1000 for a Galaxy Note 3 in India), they're sticking with dumb phones, or they're reluctantly forking over $200-400 for entry level smart phones. Karbonn, Oppo, Meizu and others are all trying to crack this market, but until now they're spent more time trying to compete at the "cheaper flagships than Samsung/HTC/LG/Sony" than than the "accessible decent smartphone" market.
It seems very similarly specced to the htc first, the "facebook" phone, which is just about the best deal as far as used handsets go. I got mine for $140 shipped from gazelle's ebay store, and it has been a delight to use.
The Moto G is a very high quality phone for only $200. The $50 phones out there are extremely low quality in comparison.
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.
> in 5 years it will still be a decent phone at the low end of the market
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
You're wrong. The "cool in-crowd" of Nigeria can totally afford this phone(minus shipping costs that I don't know about). "Only" the poorest of the poor are left out. Like, people who can barely feed their families, which I guess is a lot in some areas of the world. But for anyone who has enough money in a 3rd world country to think about buying jeans, going to the movies, hanging out in an internet-cafe. A good amount of those folks can get a $200 phone. Might take a few months of saving up, but they can do it.