Motorola CEO seemingly confirms plans for a $50 smartphone

Motorola CEO seemingly confirms plans for a $50 smartphone
The Moto G has already won itself a steadfast following, and is largely regarded as the first truly affordable brand name smartphone that doesn't suck. It would appear, however, that Motorola was merely scratching the surface with the budget device, as CEO Dennis Woodside confirmed plans for an ever more affordable device for TrustedReviews:

In much of the world $179 is a lot of money so there’s a big market at a price point of less than $179,” the Motorol CEO says, “We’re going to look at that and just delivering on that value promise is super important. I mean why can’t these devices be $50? There’s no reason that can’t happen so we’re going to push that.

This is as concrete a confirmation as you're about to ever pull out of a major manufacturer's CEO, and it sure feels like Woodside isn't playing around. Of course, the Motorola exec failed to provide any further details about what kind of a device we might expect and when, but we can't help but feel a little skeptical. Motorola has made an impressive stride with the Moto G on its path to bottom prices, yet $50 still sounds a tad farther down the line. In all honesty, however, some Chinese manufacturers have already arrived at this price point (see: Jiayu F1), so it's certainly not out of the realm of the possible. In any case, that's one seriously intriguing thought, and we almost smell Google's hand in this. After all, the Mountain View-based search giant has long promoted its desire to have every person connected to the internet (which is not at all accidentally good for business). Well, a $50 Motorola device sure sounds like a good way to start on the remaining half of the planet for which current offerings are unfortunately still a luxury.

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29 Comments

1. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

WOW I wan't to see this!

2. PorkyBurger

Posts: 585; Member since: May 18, 2013

ME TOO! Only last thing I want them to do is to release some their phones here. I want Moto X real bad...

3. Topcat488

Posts: 1411; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

This would really be a TRUE game changer... On a scale higher than the T-Mobile un-carrier shake-up.

16. Caralho

Posts: 119; Member since: Jun 18, 2012

Me too!!! Now, don't be surprised when it shows up for $50...as long as you sign a 2 year contract!!! lol

4. Teja171 unregistered

These might be the specs:- Android 2.1 526Mhz cpu 128Mb ram 1MP camera 3.5" display 900Mah Battery

6. Topcat488

Posts: 1411; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

These sound more like the Jaiyu F1 specs... Maybe you are from that Chinese manufacture that make the $50.00 phone already. Teja171,... 0.=http://www.unwiredview.com/2014/01/16/49-jiayu-f1-officially-announced-will-be-released-later-this-month/

7. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

You are really an optimistic guy aren't ya ? -.-

9. pokharkarsaga

Posts: 545; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

The idea of making $50 phone is to make google services run across these devices,its not about margin.after all google main source of income is from ads.

11. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

That is until someone comes a way to modify android OS such that google no longer get income from the ads. You look at Amazon, they decided to create a fork in the android OS.

26. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Why would that have any bearing here? Google or Moto didn't manufacture the Kindle Fire, so they didn't have to recover the costs. The version of android that most people see, on Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, and Moto phones comes with Google's services on board. If one of those OEMS tries to block/remove the ads, they also lose access to Google's services. Android, in it's raw form that can be tailored and forked for individual needs, doesn't get access once they change it beyond a point. The raw version of android is open source, but the OEM versions with Google's services on board technically isn't, because the OEM's and Google's services are proprietary and cannot be changed. But you bring up a great point, any company could produce a mobile device, use a forked version of android, to promote their services. Now by doing so you'd lose Google's services, most notably, access to the Play Store. So for their customers they'd need their own app store, or let users sideload apps. That's why Amazon's Kindle Fire was a success, because they had their own app store with popular titles. The other side of the coin is the no name devices running a forked version of android with their own app stores (I believe one called it AppLibrary) which has a mediocre selection of apps. Those devices obviously aren't as popular, and don't sell the same numbers as those devices with Google's or Amazon's version of android. The ad-less version of android is already around, and it doesn't seem to be hurting Google any.

13. hurrycanger

Posts: 1756; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

It's possible to make phones with better specs and sell at $50 The BLU Dash Jr. is an example. Two more examples can be found on Best Buy website. Search the T-mobile Prism II and the T-mobile Alcatel Onetouch Evolve 3G. They are sold at $50. So yeah, I think Moto has the ability to make a phone with much better specs than what you provided there to sell at $50 :D

29. amamartin999

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 13, 2014

I have the Prism II AND IT SUCKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS​SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS​SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS​SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS​S I wanna kill myself for how bad it is.

14. kryme

Posts: 468; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

trust me.... expect the lastest android.... no less than 512mb to 1gb ram.. a dualcore 1.2ghz....screen size 4" with 275-320ppi... cameras well those can be tricky.... same battery life as the moto g...... i'll definitely get one as a travel phone wen i go to jamaica

22. TheLolGuy

Posts: 483; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

Sigh. When will people learn...

18. eN16HTMAR3

Posts: 253; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

No way Newest Android Platform (it is a Google company you know) Dual Core 1 GB RAM 4" Display 5 MP Camera Battery ? That is just my take tho.

25. highwaysnobbery

Posts: 48; Member since: Feb 19, 2013

The specs will be low but not that low. I think they probably ran out of those 526MHz chips a long time ago. I'd expect something along the lines of a 1GHz to a 1.2 dual core. The fabs that make these chips have to spend huge amounts of money retooling their facilities for newer processes in chip making. They are not about to go back a few generations to make some cheap smartphone. It'll be some kind of dumbed down yet thoroughly modern cpu.

5. itsjustJOH

Posts: 232; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

How about global availability first?

8. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

Wow! Time for the wars between Americans and Chinese to begin! But this war will be beneficial to us consumers:D

10. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

You can find numerous $50 android prepaid smartphones when they go on sale. I almost bought the LTE enable LG F3 with Virgin Mobile when it was on sale at Radio Shack.

15. troutsy

Posts: 378; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

"On sale" isn't really what they're talking about here...

12. Avenger827

Posts: 46; Member since: Jan 19, 2014

Best news I've heard this week. Go Motorola!

17. salaal

Posts: 109; Member since: Dec 08, 2013

I think the specs for the phone would be: Dual 1.2 cortex a7 Adreno 302 512mb ram 2,3mp camera Latest android system 4.3",4" screen qHD,480X800 display They will only selll the phone and nothing else in the package only the phone and a manual guide for it but what so ever for 50$ Off contract it's worth every single penny

19. GamePlayer

Posts: 51; Member since: Jun 06, 2013

I think this guy needs plans to make their phones available to more countries. Because i've been hearing all "it's great value for money,it's the best smartphone currently, best value for money smartphone,best cheap smartphone" thing for years now, and none of these devices come in my country(Pakistan.) Nexus devices do come in Pakistan, but at an expensive prize.Nexus 5 here is'nt even close to a "good value for money device".In fact it's not even a good buy, because the prize of it just close to G2, which offers better battery life,camera,etc and is a flagship instead of budget flagship(which comes with compromises.) And Nokia Lumia 520 is a bit better, at 170$, but still not the around 80$ value for money people here keep talking about. I simply don't get it, if they prize it cheap in some countries, why not in all countries?

20. papss unregistered

We can thank Nokia for bringing the budget phone into focus as the hot point.

21. domfonusr

Posts: 1073; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

If this happens, then there really won't be much room left for Tizen. I was under the impression that, because Tizen will run on really low-spec'd hardware, Tizen would make obselete all of the remaining basic/feature phones, and would compete with Firefox OS, selling in the sub-$80 range; however, if Moto can build something with Android that sells for $50 full-retail, then what's the point of Tizen? You will have Motorola's Android replacing the trusty old basic/feature phone, and burying all of the terrible white-box knock-offs, not Tizen.

23. Avenger827

Posts: 46; Member since: Jan 19, 2014

We have the exact same problem in India, @GamePlayer.

24. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

It's worth noting that Michael called this back when Google bought Motorola.

27. geodude074

Posts: 99; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

There are already $50 no contract Android phones all over the place. They all just suck, is all.

28. Palladium

Posts: 21; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

China already has Android phones with 8 core Mediatek, 3G, 720p IPS and 2GB RAM for $120.

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