On Moto X's "disappointing sales" and the upcoming lower-end Moto phone.
Coming from this article in the WSJ...
I don't have to provide all the background to you guys. Suffice to say the Moto X is a very cool and exciting phone. However: it is not a bona fide flagship-level phone; it is priced at $200 on contract; and Moto Maker has not been out on any carrier except AT&T. It's not selling that great, you say? Well, no shit!
But now we're about to see the price drop to $100 and Moto Maker come to the other US carriers. So I would expect a sales bump in the next month, but a lot of the momentum has dissipated since the initial Moto X release.
And what's next to help keep the ball rolling for Moto? A low-end version of course (aka Moto G)! So there will be what, a $50 or free phone to compete with the newly discounted $100 Moto X? I'm sorry, but: sigh.
I'm pretty confident that reports of a high-end Moto in early '14 are true, but if the commercial focus is on anything, it should be on that. It's not just tech enthusiasts anymore who walk into the retail store wanting the best phone (at least, in the US, with our subsidy model). The mainstream buyer gets that they are going to be married to this thing for two years, they see the ads, they appreciate the cameras...so even the average consumer wants to at least know what the flagship is, to hold it and play with it, and possibly to fall in love (or at least be charmed).
So, for multiple reasons, sales of a low-end Moto phone are going to be mediocre too. But hey, maybe it will make the Moto X look good while we all wait for the REAL Moto flagship! Meanwhile, mainstream tech writers will politely sneer at Moto's track record and furrow their brows concern-trolling whether Google got their money's worth for Motorola. And we'll have to read these articles, because we can't help it.
I know these exclusivity deals have some commercial justification. I know the product pipeline can't just be sped up on a dime, especially with Moto Maker. But still, as an ignorant, end-user, hapless fan, I can say: stop being cute Google/Moto, and give us that flagship. We'll take notice, and so will the average consumer.