Motorola CEO confirms X Phone as “Moto X” – launching this summer across multiple carriers and priced aggressively



Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside took the stage this evening at the AllThingsD D11 executive conference, already in full swing. Sitting down with D’s Walt Mossberg, Woodside has not only confirmed the existence of the Motorola X Phone, but the name, expected launch date, and a few other details as well. “It’s going to be called the Moto X,” said the Motorola CEO, “It’s going to be broadly distributed.” Name? Check. Multi-carrier US launch? Check.

He went on to say that Motorola has learned from their mistakes and after sitting down with Larry Page he was given one directive: “take it back to the roots of innovation.” This is why Motorola will be relaunching their entire product line, along with the Moto X, this fall [UPDATE: Moto X this summer, followed by more devices “between now and October”]. The worst part is Dennis Woodside actually having the device on him during the interview, tucked away snugly in his pocket.

Talking more about Moto X, it seems Motorola will once again be placing their focus on their “Smart Actions, with Woodside saying the device will be “contextually aware” and “anticipate” the user’s needs by utilizing various low power sensors. When going into the manufacturing process, Woodside revealed that the Moto X will actually be built here in the US — Fort Worth, Texas, specifically — something you just don’t see from smartphone manufacturers who typically outsource the building of their devices to overseas manufacturers like Foxconn. While around 70% of the device will be built here in the US, he went on to clarify that system components like the OLED display and CPU will be built in Korea and Taiwan, respectively.

When it comes to pricing, Mr. Woodside further divulged that the current pricing gap between $30 feature phones, and $650 high-end smartphones, will no longer exist if Motorola has something to say about it. Surprisingly enough, Motorola also mentioned that they have no special access to Android code and maintains that they wont be given any kind of special favoritism from parent company Google. When it comes to Android, they’re being treated just like any other OEM.

You can watch the full 36 minute video interview — as well at Motorola’s new found interest in security and authentication — below.

UPDATE: According to Motorola’s press release, the Moto X will, in fact, release this summer. In Dennis Woodside’s interview, he was a little more vague when he said the Moto X and a handful of other devices would be launching “between now and October.”

Thanks, Seth!

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. well worth waiting for.

    1. how do you know…we have no official specs…lol

      1. If it has the rumored 4inch display. Hard pass.

      2. historically, moto phones have the best radios and i live in a rural area, makes it a no brainer.

        also, if i buy it from verizon i have a 2 week trial, if i don’t like it i give it back and continue to happily use my RAZR MAXX.

      3. it will NOT BE about SPECS solely.;) Specs are important as long as they’re not the only selling point of the device.

        Galaxy S4 for now.
        Motorola X later.
        Note 3.

    2. Most def!

  2. Giggitty Giggitty Goo!

    1. my thoughts exactly :)

    2. u mean giggity giggity google right? haaaaaaa hahahaa right..am i right (starts to slow clap) ~~crickets chirping~~ (-___-) well guess im not funny lulz

      1. a little funny..ill give you a C for effort..

        1. love the way u spell brotha lol

  3. Er-mah-gerd. Let’s see if Motorola can get back in the game with the X phone, and I’m super excited to see what they got in store!

  4. I’m cautiously pessimistic.

    1. You mean cautiously optimistic?

      1. I think he meant what he said. I would love Motorola to get back in the game, but they’re gonna have to pull out some sort of miracle to beat off the onslaught of the S4, the pending Note 3, and to a lesser extent, the HTC One.

        1. that is what Cautiously OPTIMISTIC means… you hope they do well but are prepared for that not to happen.

          what he said sounds like he thinks they will absolutely flop but is prepared in case they somehow do well

      2. Godam Chris why can’t I full screen this video?

    2. I’m cautiously optimistic. (sorry Bizz, I’m an optimist)

    3. What, you’re shorting Moto stock or something?

  5. I hope one of their X Phone releases plans on being a phablet with a next gen processor, to compete with Samsung.

    1. engadget also mentions a summer release

    2. Thanks, Seth! Updated the post with the press release (oddly dated as May 28th).

    3. The articles I’ve read quote Woodside as saying the phone would be available in October and that all the hiring of workers at the Texas Plant would be done by late August.

      [Edit] Some sites are now updating their articles with the possible summer release based on the press release.

  6. This is interesting, can’t wait to see how it holds up on the market.

  7. hmm >.> i hope it comes with the S800 instead of the 600, by October the s600 will seem outdated and Motorola has a habit of using older tech as they did with the S4 last year when introducing the Razr/maxx HD in October

    1. I think it would come with S400.

  8. Making it an ala carte / build your own device (and selling it in the Google play store) would be a power move, and would be a bit in line with the original premise of the android store.

    1. But that would be priced more.

      1. Worked OK for the nexus lines. You can still do some x phones in retail locations, but retail phone sales will go the way of retail computer sales sooner or later.

  9. I was going to wait and see if the HTC One would come to Verizon but now I’ll wait for this phone because it’s being manufactured in the US.

    1. More importantly, it’s being manufactured in Texas! :D

    2. this is cool!

  10. I can’t wait for Verizon to lock it down and fill it with bloat!

    1. From what was rumored, it’ll be an almost stock Android experience, only with Motorola widgets and a few tweaks (like Smart Actions).

      1. That’s what Verizon wants you to think :)

      2. But sadly VZW will roll out updates several months after the other carriers. Hope this thing is an easy nut to crack. I would have chucked my Droid 1 out the window had the bootloader not been cracked.

  11. Hmm… Let’s see if Motorola can sway me from the HTC One. This year is indeed going to be quite interesting.

  12. why does Walt Mossberg the beadered troglodyte get to grill tech executives as though it is some form of inquisition. To hell with the bearded mossie.

    1. No doubt.Just coming across as a clueless short-sighted a**hole who thinks he’s some sort of advocate for the masses.

  13. WOW That pill thing got me crazy. i want it lol.

  14. This is good for us here in the metroplex more jobs is good.

  15. “Motorola also mentioned that they have no access to Android code”
    But doesn’t everyone have access to it through AOSP? or are they talking about the active development?

    1. Exactly. Through AOSP, but not from directly working with Google. Clarified in my post.

  16. Death to THE BLUR

  17. Priced agressively? I’m really hoping $250-$350 then, pricing like the Nexus 4 would be great for another superphone. Really hope they give bigger screens a chance too. 4.7 is too small, 5.2 would be awesome. The 5.5 of the Gnote II and others is just a bit too big.

    1. You always get what you pay for. You want N4 price, then you’ll get a POS like N4. MOTO’s build quality is incomparably higher then LG, and even comparing these two brands is offensive.

      1. how bad was the N4?

        1. In regards to the build quality, read this site. There was a post by Chris not so long ago.

          1. When he dropped it while in his car and the N4 cracked. Boy was he pissed at that….

          2. I can’t count all the times I dropped my RAZR. On walkways, on concrete railway platforms, etc. I prefer using a wired headset and very often it tangles around my bag straps or my arms and pulls the phone out of pocket. All this only left a few scuff marks, not even scratches or dents on the phone. The only thing that wore off during 1.5 year is the paint on the ON button.

          3. how is it spec wise? worth the price?

  18. ‘murica

    1. F**K yeah!

  19. Specs & pics or it’s not real…;-)

  20. I’m still sticking with my Snapdragon 800 or GTFO comment from a month or so ago.

    1. I agree. If this doesn’t have the 800, I’ll wait for one that does.

  21. I’ll stick with my SGS4. Let’s see if this will rival that, or the One.

  22. Sounds cool, like “Google Now hardware.”

  23. I’m way more excited to this than the s4!

  24. Keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen

  25. Talking more about Moto X, it seems Motorola will once again be placing their focus on their “Smart Actions, with Woodside saying the device will be “contextually aware” and “anticipate” the user’s needs by utilizing various low power sensors.

    I thought Motorola said they were going absolute stock AOSP? This was confirmed by Motorola.

    1. Maybe it’s an app instead of framework.

      1. Doubtful. But anyway.

  26. Intriguing. I use Smart Actions on my RAZR, and they work well. Hopefully it’ll make it to the UK

    1. Until my phone can make me a sandwich, I disable all these extra fancy-pants new fangled thingy-ma-bobs!

      1. It can make you an Ice Cream Sandwich… Ba dum dum!

        1. It’s Ba Dum Tshh.

  27. Welcome snapdragon dual core!!! Don’t expect high end Configuration.!!!!

  28. The only android device that Motorola put out that was really “the roots of innovation” was the OG Motorola Droid. Hopefully they are going back to that…. Any word on the bootloader though? I’m done playing cat and mouse with bootloaders.

  29. What does this Summer mean?? Here in the UK we dont get a summer!!! does he mean July – September??

    Lets hope the camera is fantastic & fantastic at low light like the new Nokia Lumias.

    1. Well… since the device is assembled in Texas… next week through late November will count!


    2. Rule of thumb: “summer” is generally the months without an ‘r’ – May, June, July, August.

      1. That rule of thumb doesn’t work in the southern hemisphere.

        1. True, but I just assumed he was in the part of the UK located in the Northern Hemisphere.

    3. Summer is from June 21 to Sept 21 in the US.

      1. Same as everywhere else in the northern hemisphere.

  30. I’m dreaming of a small always-on e-ink status window somewhere. I need something more than just a blinking LED.

    1. Creative, but unlikely.

  31. Just show the damn thing?

  32. Why do I feel so disappointed about this? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

    1. Because you didn’t SEE thr device and google is feeling more and more like skynet big brother etc

  33. as well at Motorola’s new found interest in security and authentication

    Moto has always been about security and authentication. Encrypted bootloaders?

  34. I am up for an upgrade in July, maybe I might hold out until this comes out. If it’s priced right. Just for the mere fact that it’s made in America is enough to make me want to get it. Hopefully this will become the new normal, electronics made in America.

    1. I’m due for an upgrade on Saturday, June 1st……If this is coming in just a few weeks, I’ll wait. But if isn’t for another 6 months, I’d just as well get the HD now, because this Atrix 2 is really buggy since the ICS upgrade. WHY can’t they be a bit more specific?

  35. Just let it get updates straight from the mothership and you’ll have a winner, Moto.

  36. Ugh, smart actions… It’s like a watered down broken version of Tasker. I hope it can be disabled just as easily as on the Razr Maxx.

  37. Anyone else thinking maybe a “google edition” by the holidays?

  38. I loved my Atrix 4G hopefully this will be way less locked down now that it is a Google product. It also looks like it timing wise at least it could be the first phone with 4.3 on it.

  39. I’m interested!!

  40. LOL….Between $30 and $650. Little wiggle room there.

  41. I have owned several Droids. Have a Razr now. When I use my daughters S3 my phone seems like a stone axe. Motorola is the product of suits. I bet they laughed at Samsungs clap copy feature.. Well my daughter loves it and uses it all the time with friends. Sad eh? Motorola has no soul and it shows. They are a huge company division with their typical paper pushing management style whose failures to lead has taken its toll. (I bet in all their meetings its no ones fault) I expect the wireless division to colapse from its own suit mentality.

  42. So what is the pricing they speak of?

  43. All these interviews are DESPeRATELY trying to spoil what Google is working on. LOL
    Google X FTW!

    Motorola Xphone!

  44. Moto is the king of comebacks…cant wait for their new lineup. They always comeback in fashion

  45. There are a lot of mid level phones motorola. Are you aiming for high end phone for mid level prices then great. If your shooting to be the best mid level crappy phone then maybe rethink things. Not a good way to build a brand.

  46. So if they are “removing the price gap”, they have to be sacrificing something somewhere. So, a small screen, slow processor, and a tiny bit of RAM. That’s what I hear. Oh wait, didn’t they say there would be a ton of colors to choose from on this thing? That’s a feature we all need.

    1. They’re removing the clunky design that requires human hands to assemble it. By reducing labor content and using robots effectively, the price can be brought down significantly.

  47. Dennis Woodside gets it! U.S. companies that moved their manufacturing overseas in the 1980s and 1990s soon lost their engineering edge. Many of them aren’t around anymore.

    What Regina Dugan is describing in the interview isn’t anything new; it’s sometimes been called the Skunk Works approach to project management, the “fat arrow” versus the traditional “skinny arrow” in product development. Management consultant John D. Trudel discussed the difference in his long-running “Tales From a Skunk Works” and “Trudel To Form” columns in Electronic Design magazine decades ago.

  48. Too… many… buzzwords… >_<

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