WSJ: Motorola Moto X sales disappointing

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

Related phones

Moto X
  • Display 4.7" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 10 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, Dual-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB
  • Battery 2200 mAh(13h talk time)
Moto G
  • Display 4.5" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Quad-core, 1200 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB
  • Battery 2070 mAh

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38 Comments

1. Adrian38

Posts: 142; Member since: Nov 05, 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.

2. datsyuk

Posts: 180; Member since: Jan 11, 2012

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

6. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 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.

12. Goldeneye

Posts: 419; Member since: Jan 22, 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.

13. Doakie

Posts: 2470; Member since: May 06, 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...

21. greyhulk

Posts: 177; Member since: Jun 30, 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.

18. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

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

24. zecks420

Posts: 8; Member since: Nov 12, 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.

25. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

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

28. Adrian38

Posts: 142; Member since: Nov 05, 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.

3. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Bring down the price, this will sell good.

4. ThreeFourSeven

Posts: 34; Member since: Nov 23, 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.

5. Netolic

Posts: 152; Member since: Oct 18, 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

26. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

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

7. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 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.

8. GeekMovement unregistered

Not surprised.

9. gentleman559

Posts: 22; Member since: Aug 08, 2013

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

10. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

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

23. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 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.

11. 2ndbest

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 12, 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.

14. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1207; Member since: Jan 24, 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...

15. solomonsteve

Posts: 79; Member since: Dec 19, 2012

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

16. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

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

17. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 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.

32. 2ndbest

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 12, 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"

19. casperspirits

Posts: 15; Member since: Sep 20, 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

20. greyhulk

Posts: 177; Member since: Jun 30, 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.

22. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 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.

30. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 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.

27. Cha7520

Posts: 222; Member since: Oct 31, 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!

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