Moto X too pricey? Motorola says a lower-priced model to release later this year

Moto X wheel cropped

Despite numerous leaks (okay, it was more like a steady stream) revealing just about everything there was to know about the Moto X months in advance, the one area Motorola had everyone guessing was on the price. Oddly enough, many of you are still guessing, with Motorola only revealing how much the Moto X will cost with a 2-year agreement, cleverly leaving out the full retail price. While some are guessing that might have to do with the phone — which offers semi mid-ranged specs — will be priced at upwards of $500. Sounds a little steep, especially considering the competition.

Well, it seems Motorola might still have a few tricks up their sleeves. As reported by CNET, it seems Motorola is still working on a lower priced version of the Moto X targeting pre-paid and emerging markets. No word on specs or specific timing of release, but Motorola did mention it would launch in the next few months. Curious to see how much they’ll have to skimp on to get that price down even lower, and makes you wonder if a more higher-end Moto X isn’t also in the works?

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  • Jordan Pfingsten

    Honestly, Don’t care.

    It’s “wait for the Nexus 5″ now.

    Sucks.

    • http://thebeeobee.com/ thebeeobee

      Why? The last two nexus phones had SERIOUS flaws.

      • ngo93

        My Nexus 4 is running great!

        • http://thebeeobee.com/ thebeeobee

          I’m sure it is. How is the LTE?

          • ngo93

            The LTE hack actually works very well for people, check out the xda thread ^_~
            Not having LTE from the get go was a disappointment, but I would not label it as a SERIOUS flaw as most of the world does not even have access to LTE.

          • Timbo1

            LTE is just fine :p install an older radio and bam LTE on Tmo.

          • Revas

            I find the LTE to be quite snappy.

          • jessez93

            not a serious flaw for me foo. I love my nexus 4.

          • JBrowne1012

            Thats not a flaw Nexus 4 simply doesn’t have it. Not a problem since at the time the important carrier to offer it who don’t jack up devices with bloat and bs is t-mobile who didn’t have LTE at the time of release. Do you know the definition of flaw?

            A mark, fault, or other imperfection that mars a substance or object.

            Everything works fine for me it runs buttery smooth more than any other device. HSPA+ is faster on average than LTE and more consistent anyways. LTE still has battery drain issues as well. So while your LTE device may run faster at a burst of time the battery is going to drain quicker or will need a thick battery with a large amount of juice to not die every 3 hours

      • TalkingMoose

        They don’t care about quality: Hot specs, cheap.

      • renGek

        Your definition of serious might be a bit subjective. I am a few months away from 2 years with my galaxy Nexus. Been perfectly fine all this time.

        • BulletTooth_Tony

          your definition of “perfectly fine” is seriously subjective too.

    • PhineasJW

      Yup. Nexus or nothing. Especially confirmed after the way the X went down. But that’s just me.

      BTW Chris, the $199 ON-contract rumors were right.

  • Marcos Peña

    The week after 4.3 is announced, here goes a 4.2 phone, from Motorola, a Google subsidiary…
    Really??…

    • mgamerz

      You know it’s run as a separate company right? The whole “lets not alienate the people who make phones that run our OS” thing?

      • Marcos Peña

        In reality, the fact that Google owns Motorola is besides the point. The issue is that an OEM is releasing a phone with older software. Just like HTC releasing the One with 4.1 when we were already at 4.2.2.

        • mgamerz

          It’s a week old. Not even all the nexus devices have it yet. The earliest AOSP build for 4.3 was likely done in mid to early july, you expect software companies to build stable software in a month with this level of complexity? Sure there aren’t a lot of changes, but QA takes time.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    If they can make a Nexus 7 with 7 Inch screen, quad core processor and LTE for US carriers. I think they can make and sell a phone for around the same price

    • Marcos Peña

      I’m never looked at it from this point of view. So true.

      • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

        @JaswinderSinghJammu:disqus @markospen:disqus

        Well, technology tells us that cramming the same tech into something smaller makes the price go up. Case in point: desktop computer vs laptop vs ultrabook.

        • Marcos Peña

          Good point as well. How do you feel about the on-contract price? Do you think we should wait for the off contract price before passing judgement?

          • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

            FOR SURE although AT&T mentioned it would be around $575 through them, let’s see if Motorola can’t offer it for cheaper through them, or maybe even Google through the Play Store.

          • BulletTooth_Tony

            doesn’t T-Mobile sell the Nexus 4 for $450 off contract and $200 on?

        • Sean

          Why? My laptop costed $100 less than my girlfriends desktop, and theyre almost exactly the same specs. And mine has a 15 inch lcd 720p display, hers just came with a cheap keyboard.

          • mcl630

            Either she got ripped off or you got an amazing deal (or both). And a 15″ display that’s only 720p is just plain sad (but all too common).

        • JaswinderSinghJammu

          I see your point Chris but for the most part are very small all across the board and most of the time manufacturers are using off the shelf parts (i.e) chips, screens and other components so if Nexus 4 can be done so can be Moto X.

        • Terrormaster

          I’ve always thought that to be true myself. But then I remember when the iPad first hit the market and it costed more than an iPhone. And the same was true when the initial round of Android tablets hit the market. They were all more expensive than their smaller cell phone counterparts. And the excuse then was “more glass equates to higher cost”. And now that the tablets are racing to the bottom smartphones (with few exceptions like the Nexus 4) are still flying in at $600+.

          I’m still quite confident that there’s a HUGE amount of price-fixing happening in the smartphone market between OEMs and carriers.

        • rabidhunter

          I get your point Chris, but if that were always true, why is the exact same innards packed into a slightly smaller package and starting out at $99? There is little difference between Moto X and DROID Mini.

          • mcl630

            A good question for Motorola.

    • TalkingMoose

      You can buy a car for cheap, too, if you’re not concerned about reliability. Do you want a screen that won’t shatter if you stare at it too hard? Components that won’t burn up? Components that don’t mess up the RF and decrease performance? What about a battery that lasts more than half an hour?

      Better ingredients, better pizza.

      • ngo93

        And the Nexus 7 is a pretty good pizza ^_~

      • rabidhunter

        Not necessarily, I found that the best wines are in the $20 price range. And for me, why bother with the Moto X when I can get nearly the same exact phone for $99, the DROID Mini.

        • mgamerz

          Cause you expect updates.

          • jnbarth

            updates – from Motorola? Don’t make me laugh. 13 months ago I bought Motorola’s top of the line Photon. The android was one rev back, but they promised it would be updated “soon”. After repeated postponements, the cancelled all further updates. 11 more months to go on my contract and I’m stuck forever at 2.3.5. When I saw that the Moto X was released with 4.2, I realized some things never change. Another brand new phone and they wan’t me to enter another 2 year contract with a vague promise that they’ll update it soon? Some companies care and some don’t. I for one will never buy a phone with a contract again.

          • mgamerz

            I had an atrix. Dumped it when they canned ICS update to it.
            I’m going to guess that motorola is going to update a bit faster now that they decrapified it to some degree.

          • mgamerz

            Also I wouldn’t buy a contract phone either. That’s why I have a nexus now.

          • rabidhunter

            Hey, the Motorola Xoom is getting Android 4.2, why not?

          • mgamerz

            Its actually 4.1. Apparent VZ messed up.

    • NexusKoolaid

      Nope. Once you start adding 3G/4G/LTE radios the cost to manufacture goes up.

    • renGek

      However, if you recall asus taking about how difficult it was for them to meet googles standards at that price range. So to shrink that down even more at a cheap price is not an easy feat. I feel this phone has to be at a lower price range though. I don’t think It has enough to make people take a long look among the competition.

    • rabidhunter

      So true, good point. They could have done it, they could have brought a great smartphone to the masses. Instead, they chose to be snooty.

      • KrisDiss

        I don’t think they chose to be snooty, they chose to be ordinary (at the wrong time too)

  • NardVa

    200 for 16GB on contract. This must be a joke. For 200 on contract you might as well do a phone with current specs such as a GS4 or a HTC One.

    • TheScientists

      It is perplexing. I was able to get my 32GB Galaxy Nexus on Big Red for $149 *on launch day*.

      I guess this is the price we pay, for ‘made in the USA’.

      • MotoFailureToLaunch

        Heck, I’d even have been willing to pay that price, if I had the ability to get a custom phone on launch. But as it is, all custom options, including 32GB internal, are ONLY available on ATT, about 30% of the cellular market.

        I’m NOT willing to drop this much cash on a midrange, assembly line device sporting subpar specs and limited storage. Very disappointed.

  • Aaron Peromsik

    Now you’re talking. Let’s see them compete with Optimus L9 and Galaxy Exhibit.

  • Sean

    There’s no way I’m ok with downgrading those specs even more just to get it under $500. Swing and a miss for Moto on this one. Talk about epic fail, I hope the company dies after this and google takes a huge hit. Maybe it’ll teach them a lesson.

    • eilegz

      maybe if they could learn from xiaomi, i mean a MTK quad core for 130 us dollars and their current flagship which the size its small with a snapdragon 600 cost less than 400 us dollars… the mid range cost between 250 to 350…

      • Sean

        Not to mention the company Blu, which has a quad core 4.2.2 phone for $229. It’s basically a Nexus 4 but with only 1 gig of ram. They also have a 5.7 inch phablet for $299 with the same specs and an aluminum body!

    • MotoFailureToLaunch

      As someone who seriously thinks they ran this phone into the ground, I don’t see them taking a huge hit, just not recouping their investment. Keep in mind they are putting 500 million dollars into marketing this phone, and are going to be sticking it in fashion magazines, hardware and business magazines. The lay public is going to buy into it significantly, while the rest of the population that cares about their devices enough to not be swayed by a wood back or white apple insignia completely sits this one out.

      They’re also going to have a tough time selling to anyone not on ATT, giving themselves less than half of the smartphone community as a target market.

  • Nick Thai

    WHat The F is wrong with Motorola ? How are they gonna compete with SGS4 and HTC One ??? ( Essentially same price but with much better spec )

    • techlte

      This Moto X was estimated at $275 each, so price wise.. Considerably lower. Spec wise? I couldn’t imagine how much more they could while being competitive.

      Considering we have the S800 powered handsets coming soon, the Sony Honami, and hopefully an N5 I bet on price.

  • Andzzzz

    they shot themselves in both feet with this one. Low specs, pricing not so low, and customization up the butt IF you are an att moron. “Hey this is the best thing in the world, if you use one carrier”. Fail.

    • http://www.newportessentials.com/ paco cornholio

      I agree that they’ve shot themselves in the feet.

      Great battery? OK, but other phones will get me through a day, and this one won’t do 2 days, so everyone just has to charge each night.

      Great Camera? OK, but everyone’s claiming this now, so nobody will buy a Moto X for its camera.

      Custom designs? Yes, a lot of people (women, mostly) will like this, and it’s a cool feature. But it will take a while for people to understand it, and phones have short lives.

      Price – GS4 and HTC One will be at the same price by the time this launches. With better screens, faster processors and more carriers.

      • fly’nfree

        Moto X maybe belong to smart and elite people, I’m just average person but I’m not a fool to downgrade my hTc One to this.

    • ac

      And let’s not forget the $500 million that Motorola is supposedly dumping into the marketing of this thing. I’m going to state my case here, like I did on that article. It’s going to be tough for Motorola to break even if they’re truly putting in that amount of cash towards marketing the Moto X.

    • fly’nfree

      High end price, mid range spec.
      They want you to believe in their sales talk.

  • Marsg

    Lower price lol wtf , some lame single core, 512mb device for same price as the Nexus 4?

  • Keith

    The lower price phone is going to be the next Nexus phone! j/k

  • supremekizzle

    This IS supposed to be the low priced version. The Nexus 4 changed the game in regards to phones that are at the high end of mid-range or low end of the high-range. As it stands it should be priced how the Nexus 4 is priced RIGHT NOW, not later on when they trim even more off.

  • WhatAJokeThisMotoXIs

    Samsung and Apple will be laughing their heads off, Moto X is no threat to their billions of dollars of profit duopoly.
    All the Iphone, Galaxy like hype but without the crowds.

    • Cao Meo

      you forget Motorola has $500M war chest.

      • WhatAJoThisMotoXis

        you forget Apple and Samsung have bigger war chests.

  • LanceMiller

    I’m stumped, how did Motorola / Google ever expect this to sell well when it will cost more than the Nexus 4 which is unlocked & has zero Bloatware, which won’t be the case for the AT&T & T-Mobile models. I can’t justify the Moto X being worth more than the Nexus 4 even if it has a better camera, more ram & some software tweets.

  • OldNorseBruin

    Rumor Mill: OFF-Contract Prices: $575 (At&t)…$699(!!!!!!!!)(US Cellular). The D.E.A. seriously needs to arrest Woodside, the Marketing morons, et al at MOTOROLA for shooting up way too much SMACK!

  • Steven Berger

    I thought this device was supposed to be the cheaper one. I think everyone cried a little yesterday.

  • rabidhunter

    They totally shot themselves in the foot for Verizion customers. Not only does the $199 pricetag put them in direct competition with the megalith Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One (coming soon), the Note 2 (soon Note 3), and iPhone 5 (soon iPhone 5s and maybe iPhone lite). But they are also competing against themselves with the DROID line. Since Verizon will only have black and white options to begin with, there is nothing that sets the Moto X apart from the DROIDS. For $99 on contract, the DROID Mini is only .4″ smaller without on screen buttons. The DROID Ultra is $199 and is .3″ larger without on screen buttons, and is ultra thin. For $299 the DROID Max has 48 hours of battery life. So, what’s the point of getting the Moto X?

  • Jason Miller

    These are great news, give the rest of the world a cheaper version for the cheap customers we are… I would have bought the Moto X if only it would be available in my country.

  • DanWazz

    The specs on this phone should have made it a lower priced model.

  • REVS

    seriously why not just get a nexus 4 for half the price

  • fly’nfree

    lower price model with single core….ha ha ha!
    Moto is moving backward.

  • mgamerz

    In the comments section, we have a bunch of industry experts and economic experts I see.

  • xanok

    So it will be a mid-tier price for a low end phone?

  • Brian S.

    The price is a deal breaker… I guess I’ll wait for the next nexus… Its amazing how OEMs keep doing this.

    Am I wrong here? Should I pay this price for this phone?

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      I get your point Chris, but if
      that were always true, why is the exact same innards packed into a
      slightly smaller package and starting out at $99? There is little
      difference between Moto X and DROID Mini.

  • donkeykong85

    I dont even get it. And they are going to spend $500 million marketing this thing? Create an off contract phone. I hate when companies listen to corporations over consumers.

  • chuckles87

    Lower price model coming soon to T-Mobile