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WSJ: Motorola Moto X sales disappointing

Posted: , by Alan F.

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WSJ: Motorola Moto X sales disappointing
With the lower priced Motorola Moto G set to be unveiled on Wednesday, a published report on Monday says that sales of the heavily promoted Motorola Moto X have been disappointing. Strategy Analytics pulled out their abacus and counted 500,000 units sold in the third quarter. That compares with the 10 million Samsung Galaxy S4 handsets that were rung up in the same time period.

In all fairness to the device, the main selling point of the phone has been the ability of the buyer to customize the handset using the Moto Maker website, but the site was an AT&T exclusive until today when the exclusivity period ended. Now, customers of all four major U.S. carriers have access to the site. Before today, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile customers were restricted to a standard Moto X model.

Motorola also made a conscious decision not to fight the escalating specs wars. As a result, the device has a 4.7 inch screen with 720 x 1280 resolution. This means tremendous competition from larger screened Android phones with 5 inch screens like the LG G2 and the Samsung Galaxy S4, both of which feature resolution of 1080 x 1920. In addition, the 4.7 inch HTC One also offers 1080 x 1920 resolution for a 468ppi pixel density which surpasses the 316ppi of the Moto X.

Motorola recently cut the price of the phone to $99.99 on contract in order to jump start sales. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Motorola will take the wrappings off the lower priced Motorola Moto G. Looking like a Moto X that went through your jeans pocket in the wash, the device is expected to offer a removable back cover unlike its big brother. It will include many of the same features seen on the Moto X. There is talk that this phone will be free on contract.

source: WSJ

37 Comments
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posted on 11 Nov 2013, 22:37 19

1. Adrian38 (Posts: 112; Member since: 05 Nov 2012)


This phone was doomed when they made any type of exclusive deal. Especially when the exclusivity is for the feature that your company is throwing in every potential buyers face. Just a foolish decision. Let's hope that person got fired.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 22:41 7

2. datsyuk (Posts: 157; Member since: 11 Jan 2012)


Exactly not only that but last years Nexus specs at a high price point.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 23:31 5

6. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5605; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Yup-per. Exclusives hurt Nokia sales. How Moto thought that an exclusive wouldn't hurt X sales is beyond me. +n on firing the idiot(s) who thought up the carrier exclusive idea for Moto.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 00:53 4

12. Goldeneye (Posts: 352; Member since: 22 Jan 2011)


Yeah, why would anyone pay $200 on contract for a midrange phone? Motorola's devices are always overpriced, plus you get a crappy camera and a stupid exclusivity deal.

$100 on contract now? Nah! For half the money you get twice as much phone with the LG G2! At least on Verizon.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 01:10

13. Doakie (Posts: 1180; Member since: 06 May 2009)


You know. I really didn't think much of the Moto X when I was buying my primary phone. I ended up with a Galaxy Note 3 because it was the best for my needs. However I'm now shopping for a replacement for my work phone and I think the Moto X would make a good fit. A little smaller than the Nexus 5, interesting always listening voice commands, cool notification gimmickry, something about it seems interesting to me. Honestly besides the cheaper price one of the only things about the Nexus 5 that I'm having a hard time saying no to is the built in Qi Charging.

I've been eyeing Craigslist for a Moto X but they're so rare that I'll probably end up with a Nexus 5 in the end though...

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 09:41

21. greyhulk (Posts: 116; Member since: 30 Jun 2010)


I agree that it was priced poorly for launch, but it's really not a mid-range device. It's easy to think that it is if you look at specs alone, but the specs don't tell the whole story. Much like the iPhone 5s, it's not a slow dual core, nor is it a previous gen processor, as it's actually based off the S600 silicon. The 720p screen is underrated. I discounted it at launch too, but having one in hand is a completely different experience and it runs better than a lot of current flagships.

So, while I think the price decrease came way too late to help the device sell, I think the perception of its value is extremely flawed.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 03:34

18. androiphone20 (Posts: 1399; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


Since Moto X is so good with customisation I could just order one with a FAIL sticker on it :P

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 10:52 1

24. zecks420 (Posts: 6; Member since: 12 Nov 2013)


Not to mention... all that customization is worthless the second you put a case on it. The customization thing is neat but highly overated.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 11:40

25. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6239; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


i blame AT&T for FAILING MOTOROLA. plus Who ever is in charge with putting LOW END SPECS SHOULD BE FIRED from Motorola Mobile.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 13:08 3

28. Adrian38 (Posts: 112; Member since: 05 Nov 2012)


AT&T did nothing wrong. Motorola was in the wrong. They made the deal with AT&T. The specs in the phone are most certainly not "Low End" The phone is good. It has good specs. Are they top of the line? Absolutely not. But not everyone wants or needs top of the line specs. I sure don't. But when a phone with "good" specs is more expensive than a phone with top of the line specs, that's when you have a problem.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 22:42 4

3. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2479; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Bring down the price, this will sell good.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 22:59 5

4. ThreeFourSeven (Posts: 33; Member since: 23 Nov 2011)


I'm saying this as a fan of Google but this phone was way overpriced to begin with. They launch the phone at $199.99. I couldn't logically put this phone over other flagship devices with those specs. So I'm not surprised.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 23:22 5

5. Netolic (Posts: 139; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


im a big motorola atrix series fan. but this phone aint going to win me over lg g2 or note 3. even with the price cut.
im looking at specs and features, not price. money is not the problem, but the phone itself

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 11:41

26. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6239; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


That's why I bought the ATRIX with its finger sensor reader. great phone back then.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 23:39 2

7. Planterz (Posts: 682; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


Good phone at $99 contract price. Makes no sense at $199 contract price. Not when you put it side-by-side other phones and just look at the numbers of the specs. $199 contract price can get you a GS4 or One, which have faster processors and higher res screens. Stores only display the major specs (and sometimes not even all of those) on those 4" x 6" cards, and if people make their purchase based on that, it's no wonder the Moto X's sales are disappointing. The majority of purchasers don't do in-depth research, watch 15 minute reviews, or look at benchmarks. They buy what looks nice at the store, and buy what other people they know buy and like.

There's some good ideas and sound philosophies with the Moto X (and I don't mean the customization that's pointless when you put it in a case). But they should use it to distinguish it from other $99 on-contract phones, not try to compete with $199 flagships.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 00:15 1

8. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


Not surprised.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 00:18 1

9. gentleman559 (Posts: 22; Member since: 08 Aug 2013)


No one wanted this phone to being with. Way to many choices and all seem to be better than this phone.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 00:30 1

10. Sniggly (Posts: 6780; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


I like how Strategy Analytics doesn't even give a source or methodology for arriving at this figure.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 10:23

23. PBXtech (Posts: 970; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


Have to agree with that. The S4 is one of the hottest selling Android handsets and we don't know what Google's expectations were for the X.

I do think pricing was a negative factor for some though, and carrier exclusives did absolutely no help for the X.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 00:31 1

11. 2ndbest (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Nov 2013)


The 500K pcs of Moto X sold were mostly if not exclusively for USA & Canada, verses the 10M pcs of GS4 sold worldwide during the same period. Are we comparing turn over sales at a hot dog stand against McD globally?

Still haven't got the chance to try a MotoX myself but there appears to be nothing wrong with the phone. The latest drop in price definitely makes the MotoX more attractive, though still not as nice as the Nexus5.

Overall sales figure for MotoX will be a lot healthier if Motorola shipped it to rest of the world, especially to Brazil, India, China (yes, black & white models were made & assembled in China), plus Europe and the Middle East, etc. Catch is Motorola only just recently finished its downsizing and exited from most of these countries so it has limited distribution channels.

It will be interesting to see how many MotoG can be sold, as this still won't make it to some of the more populated countries.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 01:56 1

14. kanagadeepan (Posts: 639; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)


They should have launched on day one for 32GB model (Please NO 16GB models without SD slot) as
199$ for Customization + wood back
149$ for Customization
99$ without customization
on ALL carriers and reduce 50$ on each variety after three months...

Not participating in specs war is OK, the phone is fast enough.. But the price was NOT ok, imho...

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 02:31

15. solomonsteve (Posts: 73; Member since: 19 Dec 2012)


Honestly this phone should have been free on contract from the beginin.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 02:56

16. Sniggly (Posts: 6780; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Loving the ignorant comments all arbitrarily declaring that the price should have been this price or that price at launch.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 03:18 1

17. boosook (Posts: 933; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Too bad that they didn't sell it in Europe. It would have sold much more than in the US, since here the iPhone has much less market share. Instead, we're constantly looking for a good Android alternative to the iphone, and the X would have been perfect. Motorola is still considered a quality brand in Europe.
They're giving us the G, instead, which will probably be a failure... because there are many europeans waiting for Motorola to return, but these are people who value quality, not people looking for a cheap phone. With the G, they're trying to compete with Samsung in the low-end, and they'll have to sell the G to young boys who don't even remember the Motorola brand.
Bad strategy by Motorola, IMHO.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 20:12

32. 2ndbest (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Nov 2013)


Same story here in the Far East, but we may not even get the G from this upcoming launch.

Not sure how accurate is this info from Gizbot (India?) but there is a chance that the X may be launched outside of US...

I cannot include URL links because I am new here, but check out w w w.gizbot.com and look for "mobile/exclusive-motorola-moto-x-to-make-global-d​ebut-on-november-13-cheaper-014494"

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 09:16 1

19. casperspirits (Posts: 15; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)


It's only available in US? when I went home visit and talked about it, my friends from Asia were like, what the heck is Moto X. Nobody knows what the heck is Moto X, and you said it's heavily promoted???

Edited:
Actually hang on a sec, friends from US also have no idea what heck is Moto X

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 09:29 1

20. greyhulk (Posts: 116; Member since: 30 Jun 2010)


This is extremely unfortunate. Out of all of my current devices: Note 3, LG G2, Nexus 5, and Moto X, this is my favorite.

I don't think I can live without active notifications. And the feel in the hand and fluidity were top notch. I don't think this device got anywhere near the love that it should have.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 10:11

22. bossmt_2 (Posts: 430; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)


Moto X is a fantastic device, the carriers torpedoed it though. Had it launched at 99.99 like it should have with motomaker it would have sold exceptionally well. I have a hunch it will start selling better now than it has in the first 3 months.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 15:33

30. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


Yeah, I would have to agree with you that the device is fantastic. The problem is not how much the providers charged for it, it was how much Motorola charged for the devices. The manufacturers have to buy the phones like everyone else, they get a discount on them at whole sale, but trust me it's not much. So when they sale the phones on a contract, they have it setup so that they see a return on their money in a 6 month period. In order to do this, the Motorola X had to be sold at at $199.99 at launch.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 12:55 1

27. Cha7520 (Posts: 209; Member since: 31 Oct 2010)


Come on people. This is not a surprise! The phone had 2012 specs and it was overpriced. This phone was doomed from the beginning, especially now that the Nexus 5 is out!

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 15:30 1

29. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


Name a phone from 2012 that had any of the new Google Now features, Active Notifications, Motorola Drive Assist and 8 processors in it, and I would be inclined to agree with you...

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 18:43

31. Adrian38 (Posts: 112; Member since: 05 Nov 2012)


Other than the 8 processors, everything else you mentioned is SOFTWARE. The phone does mostly have 2012 specs and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, at least not to me. But pricing this phone $50-$100 more than the high end phones just isn't gonna work.

posted on 13 Nov 2013, 09:24

33. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


Name the flagship devices from 2012 that had better than or equal to a 1.7 Dual Core?

Better than or equal to a 10.5 Clearpixel Camera?

Better than 2 GB of RAM. There is only one 2013 phone that does that currently(to my knowledge at least) and that's the note 3 and it was recently released.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 10:11

34. zecks420 (Posts: 6; Member since: 12 Nov 2013)


The problem wit your comparison is the phone was not made in 2012. It is only 3 mo.ths old and already declining sales. Its only sold 500,000 in three months. Way overpriced at 199. Even 100 is too much. My G2 is 100 bucks and it blows away the moto X. Period. The only.thin it even has different is all to do with google now... yay

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 10:14

35. zecks420 (Posts: 6; Member since: 12 Nov 2013)


And your 8 core cpu is a joke. Benchmarks are 2012 at best. Battery life? Not that amazing. My G2 will last twice as long. And its cheaper. 630 bucks for a 32GB moto x. 520 for my 32GB G2. ALL you need is sales as the proof. 500,000 sold in its FIRST 3 months is horrible.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 11:31

36. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


I didn't make the phone, nor the CPU so I dunno how it suddenly became mine.

The Benchmarks beat the S4 in a few tests and quite a few other phones from 2013, so I dunno where your'e getting that from. The phone is only 720p so that give it some edge in this department though because the processors don't have to work as hard to achieve the same output.

However the statistics on the phone are not 2012 because no flagship device from 2012 can meet them. That's the point that I'm making.

I never said it was better faster or the equal to the G2, it shouldn't be because the G2 is LG's newest flagship(besides the Nexus 5) and is newer than the X so it should have better technology in it than the Moto X or the Verizon Droid devices.

I never said the phone wasn't overpriced at launch, because it most definitely was.

My only point is that the phone does not have "last years" technology and or specs in it, or under perform as people are continuously stating.

posted on 08 Jun 2014, 20:19

37. jaguar6cy (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Aug 2013)


Many go to Republic Wireless to get no contract, unlimited talk, text and data for $25 a month or unlimited talk and text for $10 a month. They have the MotoX for $299 and the MotoG for $149. I dropped Verizon for Republic over a year ago and now save over $100 a month. I recommend them from personal experience. Use this link to research and get $20 off SORRY NEED 30 POSTS.

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