It might not be the most significant upgrade in the history of exclusive Google Play releases, but on Tuesday Google made the unlocked Moto G available on its store for the same price as every other retailer. The Moto G Google Play edition release features the same 4.5-inch display, the same quad-core processor and the same $179 price as other Moto G models. The only perceivable difference between the new phone and its predecessor is the Google Play edition’s ability to “quickly receive updates of the latest Android software.” If you were already planning to pick up Motorola’s affordable, unlocked Moto G but you hadn’t decided where to buy it from, Google just made the decision that much easier.
The world is filled with dirt-cheap smartphones but how many of them are actually worth buying? Nokia’s Lumia 520 has shown itself to be a very good option for budget-minded smartphone buyers but Motorola’s recently released Moto G might be the best bargain yet. Engadget notes that Best Buy has started selling the Verizon version of the Moto G for only $99 off contract, which is a pretty stellar deal for a device that includes a 4.5-inch display with a 720p resolution, a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, 8GB of storage and a 5-megapixel camera and that is due to receive an upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat this month. Between this and the recent Moto X price cut, it looks like Motorola is getting much more aggressive about competing on price as it faces very stiff competition from rival Android vendors.
If you were wondering how the people at Motorola got away with releasing a smartphone for $199 without a contract while still retaining decent profit margins… well, they didn’t. The Wall Street Journal shares data from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Mark Newman who estimates that the Moto G is generating “an operating profit margin of less than 5%,” as opposed to the 20% margins generated by Samsung’s Galaxy S3 Mini and 28% margins generated by the Galaxy S4. The profit margins on the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s are higher than 30%. More →
This is what many people were expecting the iPhone 5c would be like. Motorola on Wednesday announced its new Moto G smartphone, a budget alternative to its Moto X flagship phone that offers mid-range specs for a dirt-cheap $179 off-contract price. Among other things, the device features a 4.5-inch display with a 720p resolution, a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, 8GB of storage and a 5-megapixel camera. The device will ship with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean but Motorola says that it will be upgraded to Android 4.4 KitKat by January 2014. Motorola says that its goal is to sell a quality smartphone to consumers in emerging markets who can’t afford high-end devices such as the Galaxy S4 or the iPhone 5s. The phone will launch in many European markets starting on Thursday but won’t come to the United States until January.
According to Strategy Analytics, Motorola sold 500,000 Moto X handsets in the third quarter. If true, this would be nothing short of a disaster. Just a few years ago, Motorola’s Droid could sell one million units in its launch month alone. Motorola’s competitiveness in its core U.S. market has eroded at a scary speed, while the company has effectively pulled out of growth markets like Brazil and India. This is a problem, because smartphone volume growth in America has dropped to zero. More →
Motorola’s mid-range version of the Moto X is still in the work and if leaked pictures are any indication, Motorola is getting ready to make some new announcements about its flagship device as well. @evleaks has posted a picture that purportedly shows the Moto X in four different colors — blue, cyan, magenta and white — on its way to being announced for all U.S. carriers. Currently, the Moto Maker, which is a website on which users can design custom color combinations for the Moto X, is only available for AT&T models. Motorola’s mid-range offering, the Moto G, will reportedly join the Moto X on November 13th and feature a 1.5GHz Qualcomm S4 Pro processor, a 4.7-inch display at 720p resolution, a 1950 mAh battery and either 8GB or 16GB of storage. More →
The low-cost version of the Moto X looks set to drop this month. Motorola has posted a landing page for the upcoming Moto G smartphone that teases a November 13th launch date for the new device. Leaked images have shown that the Moto G will look much like the Moto X but will have slightly inferior specs to Motorola’s flagship phone. Rumored specs for the Moto G include a 1.5GHz Qualcomm S4 Pro processor, a 4.7-inch display at 720p resolution, a 1950 mAh battery and either 8GB or 16GB of storage. Anyone interested in tuning into Motorola’s live Moto G announcement online can sign up for updates on the Moto G page.
Earlier this week, Motorola temporarily listed an unannounced device on its website — the Moto G. The mention was very quickly removed, but the Moto G is likely the name of Motorola’s low-cost follow-up to its flagship Moto X. On Thursday, @evleaks produced what appears to be a mostly complete list of specs for the handset, including a 1.5GHz Qualcomm S4 Pro processor, a 4.7-inch display at 720p resolution and a 1950 mAh battery. The leak also claims that there will be two separate models with 8GB and 16GB of internal storage, and that the phone will be free on contract. Motorola has yet to release any official information about the smartphone, but @evleaks included a photo in the leak that might be the first sighting of the Moto G. More →