A recent IHS iSuppli teardown of Motorola’s Moto X smartphone revealed a total bill of materials (BOM) of $214. The firm notes this figure is in line with other Asian-assembled smartphones but truth be told, you’re paying a premium to own a smartphone assembled in the US.
While it’s true that the Moto X’s $214 BOM ($226 once manufacturing expenses are included) sits roughly in the middle of the pack in terms of cost to build, one must also remember the device isn’t on the same playing field as high-end handsets like Samsung’s Galaxy S4 or the iPhone 5. For example, the Moto X uses a year-old Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor and two additional chips from Texas Instruments to cover most of its features.
What’s more, the display on the Moto X certainly isn’t the best on the market and there isn’t an expandable memory option. Google and Motorola are well aware of these shortcomings but as IHS analyst Wayne Lam put it, they are not trying to play the game of bigger is better with everyone else.
Instead, the pair are banking on the idea that a made in America smartphone with the highest level of customization seen in a smartphone thus far will be enough to lure customers to the Moto X. AT&T and Motorola just recently launched Moto Maker, an online store that allows buyers to select the main and accent colors of the chassis, a custom wallpaper and the color of the phone charger.
Whether or not the gamble pays off likely won't be known for a few more months at the earliest.