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The facility first opened in May 2013

Motorola’s Fort Worth, Texas factory first opened for business in May 2013, but sadly, it will be shuttered before the year is over. The facility was abuzz with 3,800 workers at its peak, but now employs just 700 workers.
 
Motorola cites a lack of demand for the factory’s closure, as sales of its flagship Moto X smartphone have failed to take off. According to Strategy Analytics, Motorola sold fewer than one million Moto X smartphones during the first quarter of 2014. Apple, on the other hand, was able to sell 26 million of its flagship iPhone 5S.
 
The lackluster sales coupled with higher labor costs in the United States compared to other countries meant that it was only a matter of time before Motorola would be forced to make this decision. Lenovo’s announcement of its intent to acquire Motorola Mobility earlier this year accelerated those plans, as the company is looking to shift more production to China.


Inside Motorola's Fort Worth, Texas factory [Image Source: KERA News]
 
"Manufacturing or assembling smartphones in the U.S. was always going to end in tears for Motorola," said Neil Mawston, an analyst for Strategy Analytics. "The U.S. is well positioned to design smartphones, as Apple does successfully, but manufacturing them is a whole different ballgame."
 
The Forth Worth factory was also home to the Moto Maker customization service for building your own, unique Moto X. The Verge reports that this service will live on despite production moving to China.
 

Motorola's Moto Maker service

The Moto X debuted with a price tag of $599 off contract. The price was reduced, however, to $399 off contract in January (and is currently selling for $349 off contract).

Sources: MarketWatch, The Verge



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Flagship features
By Gunbuster on 5/30/2014 3:20:00 PM , Rating: 5
Perhaps if the flagship phone had actually possessed flagship specifications they could have kept the factory running, by you know... having phones people wanted to buy.

Not to mention the totally bungled launch: CUSTOMIZER!!! oh your not on ATT? no Customizer.

WOOD BACKS!!! oh wait you cant have them at launch so just forget our product please.




RE: Flagship features
By bug77 on 5/30/2014 6:23:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Perhaps if the flagship phone had actually possessed flagship specifications...


The thing is, it did. The cores are about as powerful as the cores in Snapdragon 600 which is what powered last year's flagships. They're both Cortex A15 cores. It only has two of them, but that's all a phone needs. The screen is "only" 720p, but at that size, it's still over 300dpi.
Its downfall was that even if it used more down-to-earth components, it wasn't sold at a down-to-earth price. Also, the additional dedicated processors made sure the battery didn't last too long either.
The whole thing looks like an attempt to see if people will part with their money in exchange for a colored shell and a "Made in the USA" sticker.


RE: Flagship features
By StormyKnight on 5/31/2014 12:11:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also, the additional dedicated processors made sure the battery didn't last too long either.

I guess I don't understand this. Do you mean the because of the battery saving specs the battery died sooner anyway or was designed not to?


RE: Flagship features
By bug77 on 5/31/2014 8:14:06 AM , Rating: 2
I was referring to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_X8_Mobile_Co...
As it turned out, those "low-power DSP chips" weren't so low power after all. If you look here: http://www.gsmarena.com/motorola_moto_x-review-971... you'll see it scored 39h. That's really mediocre.


RE: Flagship features
By piroroadkill on 5/31/2014 7:43:59 AM , Rating: 2
If it had a bigger battery (like the RAZR MAXX) and a removable microSD card, I'd have bought one.

The screen res is perfect, the size is perfect, the dual-core SoC is perfect.


RE: Flagship features
By Milliamp on 5/31/2014 3:24:26 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, and when the first $400 of a phone is covered by subsidy what is the motivation to sell a flagship phone cheaper than $400?

You are throwing away $50 if you buy one on contract. I'd rather have that $50 put into the phone than wasted.


Sales have failed to take off?
By eek2121 on 5/30/14, Rating: 0
RE: Sales have failed to take off?
By flyingpants1 on 5/30/2014 10:13:06 PM , Rating: 5
My anecdotal evidence overrides your sales figures!


By peterrushkin on 5/31/2014 2:07:06 PM , Rating: 1
LMAO. I up-voted because of this!


By wordsworm on 5/31/2014 3:54:00 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe that's the problem with Moto-X. Six people per phone will make it hard for them to compete.


But nice try at trying keeping jobs here Motorola :(
By Chaser on 5/30/2014 6:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"Manufacturing or assembling smartphones in the U.S. was always going to end in tears for Motorola," said Neil Mawston, an analyst for Strategy Analytics. "The U.S. is well positioned to design smartphones, as Apple does successfully, but manufacturing them is a whole different ballgame."
For some reason I see a nightmare image of a witch holding a big gavel leading an entourage to vote on key legislation while our economy was/is limping at best is part of this insightful view that manufacturing here is pernicious.




By Murloc on 5/31/2014 9:06:21 AM , Rating: 3
not enough punctuation.


they made a big mistake
By Roy2001 on 5/30/2014 10:38:16 PM , Rating: 2
They should make price $349 on day one and or $0 with contract. They also need multiple sizes, and quad core SOC. Everyone knows they would fail except themselves.




RE: they made a big mistake
By StormyKnight on 5/31/2014 12:21:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
They also need multiple sizes, and quad core SOC.

When the phone was announced, it was the first of the series. Why does it need a quad core SOC when most of the time only 1 or 2 cores are needed to get the job done? How often do you use your quad core phone to it's fullest potential? I bet it is 10% or less unless you have mad twitter skillz.

At first I looked at all the specs of this phone and was in the same boat as everyone else. Pfffft. No quad core? Only 720p?? Really? Who'd buy that?

I dug a little deeper and found the genius of the phone. It used older tech, yes. But Motorola optimized everything about the components to come up with a phone that could keep pace for the most part with the contemporary phones of the time. Plus, it is largely skinless and as close to a "Nexus" you'd ever see on Verizon. Which is why I got one.

Don't poo poo the specs until you see what the phone can do. I stacked it up against my brother's Galaxy S4 and saw nothing that made me regret my purchase.


Translation
By TheSlamma on 6/1/2014 8:40:37 AM , Rating: 2

"Manufacturing or assembling smartphones in the U.S. was always going to end in tears for Motorola," said Neil Mawston, an analyst for Strategy Analytics. "The U.S. is well positioned to design smartphones, as Apple does successfully, but manufacturing them is a whole different ballgame."

Translation: The US has laws for human rights and child labor so it doesn't allow the elaborate profit margins CEO's of today think they require.




RE: Translation
By djc208 on 6/2/2014 8:35:55 AM , Rating: 2
But it's not just the CEOs (besides if they want that golden parachute they do require it), the board of directors and shareholder will fire them in a hot minute if they think the CEO could be saving money they are not.

Besides, I'm always amused at responses like this. How many of us DIY various projects because we are trying to save money vs paying someone else. We're even willing to check out our own stuff at the store (it's faster, no it just allows more lanes open with fewer people)! All to save money, but a CEO does it and suddenly he's an evil money grubbing monster.

Buy the boutiqe computer, have the car repair done at a mechanic, hire the electrician to swap out that light switch, it's supporting American Jobs, so what that it costs 10 times more, its just your money you must have plenty to be so concerned over luxury tech goods!


Mid tier phone marketed as a top tier
By NesuD on 5/31/2014 10:04:59 AM , Rating: 3
High mid-tier device marketed as a flagship top-tier device which it never really was. If it had been properly priced and marketed to it's correct demographic from the beginning I think it would have done much better. It was a very good device without a doubt but failure to market properly never allowed it to realize it's true potential.




Huh?
By seamonkey79 on 5/30/2014 3:40:46 PM , Rating: 2
I think it has more to do with the desirability of the phone for the price against other options than anything. The fact that the phone was 1.5 generations old outweighed the couple of added features (which were nice, not game changing).

Put together a top-tier or SLIGHTLY below top-tier phone and you would be fine. I enjoyed the Moto X, but compared to the Nexus 5, the always listening and active display weren't enough.




Lenovo
By rpierce on 5/30/2014 1:59:39 PM , Rating: 1
I would guess this also is related to the new owners, Lenovo. I imagine they will be moving some, if not all, manufacturing to China. Hopefully the new phones from Lenovo owned Motorola will not explode (http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboa...




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