So much for the Texas Miracle. A year after announcing their new phone would be built in America, Googlenovorola has apparently decided that the Moto X can’t be profitably built in the United States after all, and the Fort Worth assembly plant will be closing at the end of the year. The Moto X, or its descendants, will continue; after all, the Moto G and E are hands-down the best phone available at their respective price points. But now they’ll be slapped together in Chengdu or Shenzen or wherever.
Shame, really. The Moto X was launched at a price point not commensurate with its stat sheet, which led people to point and say “overpriced.” Had it come in at $400 unlocked and $50 on contract, or something similar, they could have been pitching “the most innovative and user-optimized phone ever, and made in America for half the cost of an iPhone” and had a blockbuster. But they started off too high and promoted too little and got overrun by the Samsung publicity machine, and Google basically just wanted out of the hardware business.
At least I have my one American-made phone, which ironically as the unlocked device will almost certainly be my international travel phone in future. After all, if I was still carrying the Z520 in 2010 I can probably make this thing last into 2015 without too much trouble (fingers crossed – more on that later) and it’s ideally suited for a place where I won’t be using it much for phone calls or music and there’s plenty of signal on all sides. Plus it’s more subdued than an iPhone. What’s not to like?
But it’s back in the drawer, especially with the expiry of my month of AIO/Cricket service. Make no mistake, if I had to buy my next phone myself, it would be unlocked and off contract and I’d be on Cricket for $45 a month. But at this point, it’s almost inevitable that my next phone will be replacing my work-provided iPhone 5 on Verizon with a notional iPhone 6 on AT&T. And I’ve conclusively proven there’s no percentage in carrying two phones. It didn’t work for me in 2005, it didn’t work for me in 2009, and it didn’t work for me in 2014.
Now I just have to gut it out for the 3-4 months it’ll take for the new iPhone to land.