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.
The Moto X is the first Motorola smartphone to be assembled in the US and the first big release since Google took over the company. The Moto X is touting out of the box customization, choose one of 18 back colors and designs, colors of the phone buttons and the ring around the lens of the camera. The X is powered by a Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.7 GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and Android 4.2.2. It also features a 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED display and comes in 16GB or 32GB versions.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a continuation of its previous design, but it's a sleeker and more current version of it. The S4 features a 1.9 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, 2GB of RAM, and a 5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display. The S4 also packs 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, IR LED Remote Control, MHL 2.0, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.0 (LE).
The Apple iPhone 5 is the latest flagship smartphone from Apple. The iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display retains the same 326 PPI density as its predecessor with an effective resolution of 1,126 x 640, and a new Lightning connector. The new handset now features 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 802.11n supporting dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Bluetooth 4.0 is back in addition to GPS and GLONASS for location services.
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