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Are Moto X Wood Backs Going to Cost an Extra $50?

moto x wood

Don’t worry, you aren’t alone in drooling over the picture above. We too want phones with beautiful, 1-of-a-kind wood backs. The Moto X will eventually have them, likely in Teak, Bamboo, Ebony, and Rosewood around Q4 of this year. We were able to snap photos of and handle a few of the early samples during the Moto X unveiling – boy are these finishes pretty. One thing we weren’t sure of is how they would be sold through Motorola’s MotoMaker software. Most of the MotoMaker process is 100% free to users, but when you start talking about raw, organic materials that will likely have challenges, you wonder if they should come at a premium. If the current MotoMaker setup gives us any clues, we could be looking at a $50 charge to go wood. 

As you can see in the pricing and option breakdown found currently on Motorola’s site (click the source link to see for yourself), you’ll notice an on-contract pricing structure for phones listed that starts at $199, but also includes price points of $249 and $299. You’ll also see the off-contract prices set at $579, $629, and $679. We know that the 16GB version of the phone is $199 on-contract and $579 off, while the 32GB is $249 on-contract and $629 off. So why the extra price point that’s $50 higher?

Screen Shot 2013-08-23 at 1.55.22 PM

Well, if you continue on down into the options section where the color choices of backs are listed, you’ll see items like Mint or Olive or Cement listed with at a price of “0” (“price” :0). But if you continue looking for the wood options, which aren’t currently available, you’ll see a price of “50” (“price” :50). Now, this price is only next to the wood options (teak, ebony, rosewood, and bamboo) and not attached to any of the standard colors. So if you look at the phone pricing structure, we can only assume that this is where the extra $50 pricing comes in. In other words, you could get the 16GB for $199 with a standard back or $249 with a wood back. If you go 32GB version, you can buy one for $249 or $299. Same goes for the phones at full retail.

While I would not claim to understand the manufacturing process for making the Moto X here in the States, I can imagine that sourcing wood, machining it, treating it, and assembling it onto a phone cannot be even close to as easy or cost efficient as it would be with a standard plastic back. If Motorola wants to charge extra for wood, I can’t say I’d be surprised nor would I be mad.

This is by no means a confirmation that Motorola will charge $50 for wood backs, but something that was pointed out to us. We still have a couple of months to go before these become available. That’s an eternity in the mobile industry.

Via:  Motorola

Cheers tyguy829!

  • Higher_Ground

    Looks like I need to start making myself custom phone backs. You can get a sample of tropical hardwood (http://www.woodworkerssource.com/samples-rosecen-p-Rosewood_Central_America.html for example) for $12. It’s 6″ x 3″ x 0.5″ which is just big enough to shape and sand into the right form for a phone’s back.
    I’d make one for my gnex but I don’t think it’ll mesh well with the grey plastic.
    Ebony is a bit more expenive… though browsing this website really has me wanting to whittle a few things.

  • socalrailroader

    He said wood, uh huh huh huh huh. 😀

  • fritzo2162

    I wonder if the warranty on these will cover damage from Pledge? Lemony freshness and circuit boards don’t mix.

  • Leannem_riley

    I’m making $86 an
    hour working from home. I was shocked when my neighbour told me she was
    averaging $95 but I see how it works now. I feel so much freedom now that I’m
    my own boss. This is what I do, http://www.jobs34.ℂom

  • flosserelli

    So Apple is going with an attention whoreish blingy gold/champagne look, while Motorola is offering a subtle earthy/organic design. Amazing how things have changed.

  • Wil Payne

    I’m tempted to sell off my GS4 if I could get a wood-backed phone on Verizon (the near stock software is also a plus), even with the hit in hardware…

    I knew this would get me.

  • RaptorOO7

    Come on $50 to get wood, that’s what she said.

  • It’s one of the few time I think Moto is justified in their price scheming. This design is gonna sell like hotcakes.

  • Kanaga Deepan N

    I can guess if they charge same for Wood and Plastic, then most people will go for wood (when available) and they will find hard to meet the demand, imho…

    Further 50$ is a reasonable price for the difficulty in making and uniqueness (plastic whatever may be the colour will never be as unique as a wooden back phone, imho)…

  • Daeshaun Griffiths


  • alex

    wonder how these wood backs will hold up for Florida customers.. Humidity central.

    • LionStone

      These are hardwoods that thrive in tropical rainforests, impervious to decay naturally, pests, they’ll have no issues in a humid environment. I’ve used ipe’ (a Brazilian hardwood) for decks, benches, railings and it holds up great to the elements. Besides, in those areas people are mostly in air-conditioned buildings typically 🙂 These woods are expensive and I’d gladly pay the extra $ to get one, being in the trades and all… I’d get a bamboo or maybe ebony one.

  • Chippah

    Birds eye/flame maple, hemp, purpleheart,cocobolo….

  • Chippah

    Going to laugh my ass off when even more colors and printed backs , button sets start hitting Amazon and eBay for 99 cents…

  • Godzilla

    Wood changes size depending on heat and humidity. Just saying…….

    • flosserelli

      Is it real wood? I figured it was plastic made to look like wood.

    • LionStone

      These are hardwoods, not so much…

    • Higher_Ground

      humidity is usually something to avoid with a phone… and with this one you might have to add moss to list.

  • Rick Lopez

    50.00 is reasonable, i recall some third party wood back makers for the iphone which is flat piece of wood for like 100.00

  • Am I the only one who thinks the above pic is kinda ugly? The dark wood just doesn’t fit right on a smartphone!

    • sski66

      Yes you are…

  • James Briano

    How much is the box of rocks? I love them rocks.

  • It seems to me that it would cost more then that to make them. If they were charging and extra $100 for it then ya, they are diffidently getting a good profit margin

  • KB

    I’d pay 50 bucks for that, wish this was a nexus.

  • over it

    Omg, how many more posts do we need about to moto x.

  • Tim242

    Another Moto Fail

  • dk1golf

    The wood feature alone is enough for me to want this phone. Sounds a bit superficial – but, it would be very cool.

  • ApplesNAndroids

    The design I want is rather simple. Black front, black back, and metallic silver accents. boom.

  • Nathaniel Newman

    I’d like to have Rosewood to match my guitar fret board!

  • Blue Sun

    I just wish these options were all available Day 1. Is that really too much to ask?

  • dunning-kruger

    I hope they don’t do it at all, if they must they better use scraps that can’t be sold to instrument makers.

    A nice piece of rosewood or ebony could make a stringed instrument that will last pretty much forever if taken care of right, or a phone that will last 2. I believe bamboo and teak are sustainable so they can go to town on that.

    I know they are small but it still seems like a complete waste to me given the quality of those woods it bothers me they would put them on something that has such a short lifespan.

    Gibson guitars for raided recently for using illegal wood (probably rosewood) the good stuff is scarce, rosewood on a phone is like diamonds on a cockring.

    • Higher_Ground


  • 655321

    Any word on if fabric and/or ceramic backs will be available when the wood becomes so? I’m holding out for Verizon to get MotoMaker so I’d likely be waiting until Q4 to get my Moto X regardless so waiting for the wood back is a no-brainer. If I can get a ceramic back, even better. I also don’t mind paying $50 more for a premium finish. Too bad there won’t be an inductive charging back available, like on the Nokia Lumia 820 and 1020.

  • Tony Stark

    Would this wood require some kind of up-keeping? Someone share their wood expertise with us

    • harry crumb

      well #1 your going to want to keep moisture out so thompsons water seal is a must, also I hope theres a pressure treated variant for us outdoor peeps, also who selects the wood cause if I get one that has knots in it that are loosing and falling out ill be pissed.

      • Tony Stark

        Thank you Harry, you sure know your wood. How about for appearance? Wouldn’t it begin losing it’s finish over time?

        • Brady KEITH

          ^ my concern too.

          • LionStone

            I think the oil from your hand will keep the back looking good for a long time.

        • ApplesNAndroids

          i’m sorry, but all of this made me LOL

          • Tony Stark

            Hehe, I’m glad someone was able to pickup on my humor

      • sski66

        I think all of these pieces will be treated properly & we won’t have to do a single thing, except don’t screw them up. Plus like someone likened these to a guitar, I agree, plus they will probably age beautifully like a badass strat…

  • hoosiercub88

    As long as the wood has been treated with the idea in mind, that it’s going on the back of a smartphone, scratches, gouges, possible moisture.. etc. I don’t see a problem with it.

  • Anonymoose

    I think $50 is acceptable for the wood back. It’s not like this stuff grows on trees.

    • tyguy829

      I see what you did there!

  • harry crumb

    I would certainly support this. just think of the smell your phone would make when it starts to heat up!! nothing better than a wood stove/fireplace

  • saimin

    People pay $20 and up for better quality cell phone cases. If you have a wood back on your phone, you don’t need a case. Why not?

    • Tim242

      Yeah, because it’s the back of the phone that breaks…

  • ahhh yes

    this phone shouldnt cost more than $50 on contract. If they want it to succeed. I bet price drops happen fairly quickly.

  • nerd

    so 629 off contract? wtf…. nexus 4v2/5 for me.

    • Tony Stark

      I am honestly beginning to fear what the pricing for the next Nexus will be. It seems like the only affordable thing Google has given us in the past year has been the Chromecast.

      • CoreRooted

        But, this is Motorola, not Google. Just because Google owns Motorola does not mean that Motorola is participating in Google’s pricing.

        • Tony Stark

          I am inclined to agree with your sentiment based on how you worded your response. Let’s say for the sake of argument that you are right… remember that Motorola is suppose to make the next Nexus according to rumors.

          That being said, those who believe that Google and Motorola are “separate companies” must also still leave cookies out for Santa Clause.

          • Pedro

            Isn’t Santa Clause a movie?
            Why would I leave cookies out for movie? It has no mouth.

            Santa Claus and all his loot get cookies, brownies and a special pill every year. He treats me right.

          • Tony Stark

            My apologies, Pedro. Your charm and wit is remarkable.

          • King Lo

            All the rumors I’ve seen had LG pegged for the next Nexus.

    • Tim242

      The Nexus 4 v2? Haha. 4 is for 4th gen, not 4.7″ screen.

  • Guest
    • Tony Stark

      Speaking of wood

  • chris420o

    Wouldnt be mad at all…but at 629 + 50 it would be a hard pill to swollow for lowly me living off penuts…then again i love to ball on budget

    • Ian Smith

      since you ballin’ on a budget ima give you a upvote – but that’s the only reason why.

      • chris420o

        ima give you an upvote bc you gave me one – n thats the only reason-

        • Kokomo

          I’m going to upvote you because someone downvoted your upvote comment.

          • La2da

            Yo dawg……

  • fauxshizzl

    I really hope the ones sold in retail have no carrier branding like the one in the picture.

    • Tyler Durden

      the invisible one?

    • Ian Smith

      please god tell me you’re not seeing another picture than i am seeing. if there is a carrier logo it would completely and utterly ruin the point of wood. i can definitely deal with the M logo though.

    • Butters619

      I really wonder what they’ll do about the fcc logo and info.

      • CoreRooted

        Etched onto the interior plate? I’m just guessing. It’s got to be that or a sticker.

    • 655321

      I wonder if they fix the laser engraving if you’ll have the option to personalize the wood back.

  • Tyler Durden

    Can we chop our own wood and send it to Moto for them to use?

    • yoda4treez

      you’re a sick f**k

      • Tyler Durden

        You’re the sick fu*k for thinking i meant it that way.

        • ApplesNAndroids

          You’re the sick fu*k for thinking he thought that you thought you meant it that way

          • Reginald Jefferson

            Deep down, we’re all sick fu*cks.

  • MikeK

    People will complain about spending $50 extra through the OEM, but they will willingly spend perhaps the same amount on cases, protectors, etc. over the life of the phone. Cracks me up – some people are just predisposed to complain about everything before any actual thought is applied.

    • CoreRooted

      Valid point. I’ve spent more than that EASILY on cases and protectors. My Otterboxes alone usually run anywhere from $59 to $79 per device.

      • Butters619

        Every time I see an Otterbox case on a beautiful phone a little piece of me dies.

        • Pedro

          You should not only be dead, mourned and buried, but should have no internet access.

          Unless you are a really, really big dude.

        • CoreRooted

          Yeah, I know. It sucks, but at the same time, I’ve been known to be clumsy. TBH, I looked at the S4 Active for that very reason, but alas, I think I’m going to be stuck with cases for awhile. :-

  • Keith

    Wait till this hits Verizon and they take their share off the top, it’ll be $69.99.

    Oh wait, they’ll most likely only offer black, and mayyybe white.

    • n900mixalot

      Now you’re just trolling. We ALL know it will be available in black and white on the other carriers at first.

      • Keith

        Just had a second thought is all. 🙂

  • Tyler Durden


  • wills96

    $50 is a little too steep for that….

  • notanXyet

    Got wood? Is that a phone in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

  • Guest


  • Now you See Me

    Beauty comes with a price… on the other hand, has anyone dropped wooden objects before? They get nicked up really easy and also are really easy to dent. Beauty comes with a price…

    • n900mixalot

      These are for the Paris Hiltons and Jay-Zs, you know, those people who never lift a finger but have all of the money to waste. Or anyone who wants to feel unique. $50 bucks makes it affordable, though.

    • Ian Smith

      there’s some type of treatment process that makes it more durable…. as you’d expect.

    • Pedro

      Ever bought distressed wood for your floor?
      Mucho dinero!

      But still looks fine.

  • Keith

    I’ll take black. It’s a damn phone not a conversation piece.

    • n900mixalot

      I dunno … I get a lot of questions and comments about my phone. And I like to talk to others with the same phone, or with phones I’ve always been curious about … as long as they’re receptive.

      • Tyler Durden

        easily use it to start a campfire if you’re stuck in the woods and freezing.

        • n900mixalot

          Which is about the only reason I’d ever touch the Moto X … hehehe, but that’s just me. Plenty of people seem to like them so, more power to them.

  • Curtis

    Is anyone else afraid that this would burst into flames in your pocket? Lacquered wood, housing over-worked electronics!

    • CoreRooted


    • Butters619

      You do realize Lacquer is only flammable until the solvent evaporates.

      • Curtis

        It’s still wood, butters! You do realize wood burns when it gets hot enough?

    • Pedro

      In an environment that has very little oxygen, because there’s very little volume.

      No, not afraid.

  • Ian Smith

    i don’t understand people whining over this. it is real wood. where else is there real wood available from a smartphone manufacturer? they have to source the wood. this means a separate supplier from where they get their plastics. this means it costs them more money to manage.

    they have to shape and cut the wood (if it is not done already). this requires machines. this requires more money.

    this is a company. they are the only one offering this. they can charge more for it. because they want to make money. because they are a company. you are a consumer.

    wrap your head around these simple concepts. then, if getting wood is your thing, pay $50 and get it.


    • tyguy829

      Can’t say I was surprised when I found this. It makes sense, especially if you’ve heard what they have to go through to double layer and seal the wood. Some moto exec was talking about it a week ago.

      • Ian Smith

        i didn’t catch that part about the wood treatment but it only makes sense. more power to them. i really like what they’re doing and the undertaking & logistics of this entire product are extremely impressive.

    • Definitely shouldn’t be complaining. If they are able to pull off real wood on a phone, we’re talking a pretty cool accomplishment.

      • Ian Smith

        seriously! i want to get this phone just to support this kind of stuff.

        • emoney

          two people apparently don’t like innovation

          • Moto Nogo

            Lipstick on a pig.

        • Warwick

          Could you imagine Moto X v2 to have a granite back? But im waiting for the wood right now, hopefully not an ATT exclusive

          • Kanaga Deepan N

            Yes, Please Moto… Don’t show your back before AT&T again and make wooden X an AT&T exclusive….

          • Mer Luchador

            that is too brittle. it’s too heavy and if you machine it thin it’d crack on the first drop

        • michael arazan

          Question is, will the Moto X heat up as bad as my GNex does with LTE heavy use, charging, and games. With a wooden back I could see it catching on fire unlike plastic.

          Also how about a follow up to the Moto X battery life after 3 weeks with the device?

          • chris125

            Newer phones don’t heat up near what the galaxy nexus did

      • Kokomo

        As long as they don’t ruin it with carrier logos and crap. I would pay the $50 for these wood back just to keep that useless nonsense off my device.

        • Higher_Ground

          Good point. If I’m getting a wood cover I don’t want VERIZON 4G etched in the back.

    • aye_winchell

      I agree and to me it only being $50 tells me there more interested in giving people a chance to get it then they are trying to make money of it. It seems to me that it would cost more then that to make them. If they were charging and extra $100 for it then ya, they are diffidently getting a good profit margin, but for $50 i don’t actually think they will make a whole lot off of it. I guess it just seems to me that all that work to make a wood back would be pricey.

      • Pedro

        I doubt it costs $50 to do this.

        Sure, it’s not the multiple injection molding/trimming process with lotsa units every 8 seconds you see for plastic. Backplate (or in TYLT terms, backdoor) costs $.02. But buying the wood blanks, running the same program on every piece and then the treating isn’t that much. Call it two bucks. Or ten, if you can’t grasp high volume automation. There’s a BUNCH of money up front, but damn near nothing (the $2 I started with) once the processes are qualified.
        Machining wood is about as easy as you can get. Probably on par with aluminum.

        That said, it’s an option. If the option is $50 and you want it, pay it. If it’s too much, then don’t pay it. Time will set the market. I bet that’s it’s a $20 option this time next year.

        • tomn1ce

          I remember watching an episode of “How its Made” where they were making chairs with curved backrest and curved legs…The process seems simple but, those wooden parts were bigger. Here we’re talking about smaller parts kind of curved that needs to be sealed to plastic.

        • Kokomo

          The materials and manufacturing may cost, as you say $2, but you tack on the labor of employees to run the machinery, then the actually machinery to do this, then the cost of engineering the machinery to make this work and work with a 90%+ acceptability rate, in terms of errors and/or breakage. Again this is an organic material, it’s not perfect plastic with a 99% acceptance. They are going to have some units that crack and/or simply won’t make the cut in terms of the quality they are looking to produce. It all adds up, and this is a company. They are out to turn a profit. Profit isn’t evil. They are doing a one of a kind thing. I personally would love a phone with the look and feel of wood. It’s unique, it’s new, and it’s exciting. They deserve a nice little 10% profit on that, because who knows what their next awesome product could be.

          • Higher_Ground

            I seriously doubt motorola is going to invest in the equipment and workers to make these completely in house. They don’t reinvent the wheel and personally make every little resistor or piece of plastic in the phone, so there’s no reason they couldn’t have the wood machined somewhere else and assembled/engraved at the TX plant.

    • King Lo

      I don’t see many people complaining. It’s one of the few time I think Moto is justified in their price scheming. This design is gonna sell like hotcakes.

    • RaptorOO7

      While I agree its real wood and that’s nice and all do we really need to deforest the planet even faster so our friggin cell phones can look like a Lexus but run like a Yugo.

    • Higher_Ground

      I think people are okay with it costing a little more. I think they also see through the $50 upcharge as simply being a convenient “round” number. If the wood might cost them an extra $20, would that justify charging an extra $50?

      I think it’s the fact that companies already treat us as suckers all the time. Look at the upcharge between a 16gb or 32gb phone. Once again, a convenient “round” number.

      People aren’t above paying more for better product. They just don’t want to be played as fools for paying more than they should.

  • Abgar Musayelyan

    it was my initial thought when i saw the wood backs. figured that there was no way that they weren’t going to charge for something so god damned beautiful.

  • Cory_S

    I’d pay it. A phone is like a wristwatch to me… style plays as much of a roll as function, and I will pay a reasonable premium for both.

    • Ian Smith

      sing it!

    • emoney

      agreed, it is a reflection of the user

      • skinja99

        You sound like an isheep. A reflection of the user?

        If you want your phone because you want other people to think you are cool, then you are, in fact, pathetic.

        • DainLaguna

          So suddenly your taste in electronics can’t say something about you? I phones comes in 2 color schemes…the very appeal of the x is centered around making it more personalized… Why do YOU have an issue withe that?

          There is some pathetic stuff here, but it ain’t coming from him.

          • Fools

            “The color of my gadgets is my identity! whaaa!” It’s like those kids with pimped out plastic LAN cases with 50 billion lights on them.

          • EC8CH

            You know I feel about paying $300 for a wood tablet case, but even I don’t think $50 for a wood backplate is unreasonable 🙂

        • emoney

          You are, in fact, retarded if that’s what you pulled from my comment. I wouldn’t buy a phone that looks like ass, but apparently those are the phones catered to your liking.

      • So what about cars? A Kia will get you from point A to point B, so if someone spends the money on a Lexus or BMW do you think lowly of them too for wanting a car that is more stylish?

        • Fools

          A BMW will dominate a KIA in comfort, luxuries and performance. The two are not even from the same world. The buyers get quite a bit more than just a neat looking car for that extra money. A Moto X will perform exactly the same regardless.

    • Great way to put it.

    • CoreRooted

      I have a wallet case on my S3 (it’s my DD) and I am constantly getting complimented or asked where I got it. I agree with you 100%.

    • 655321

      Look how much people paid for those ridiculous Vertu phones.

    • jose

      Sounds eerily reminiscent of things iPhone users used to say.

      • Tony Stark

        Absolutely agree. Android is now officially more about chic

      • alexis orms

        So you’re saying you wouldn’t pay a small premium for a car with nicer wheels, or other tasteful enhancements over a plain Jane stock one?

        • jose

          Depends on what it is. $50 more for a cover that may be more fragile just to make a fashion statement? Nah. I’d rather stock up some more .223

        • skinja99

          Enhancements are different.

          The starting comment was some pathetic wording about wanting to be popular by having people look at his phone and judge him

          “I’d pay it. A phone is like a wristwatch to me… style plays as much of a roll as function, and I will pay a reasonable premium for both.”

          • DainLaguna

            Even your quote fails to show were wanting to be popular was ever mentioned. Troll harder.

        • Fools

          If those wheels are lighter and/or more durable actually benefitting the vehicle, sure. Does wood make this phone lighter or more durable? I am guessing not – wood isn’t more durable than some plastic composites we have now.

    • skinja99

      Maybe you should buy a gold iphone like a 12 year

    • Kokomo

      Plus ten internets to you sir. I feel the same. If they look anything like the demo units, the consumer units are going to look gorgeous and once people have them in hand, just like everyone who got a press unit to review, they will love them.

  • King Lo

    Motorola is not shy about Milking money.

  • Sean Plantz

    ewww, like the wood, but if that’s true,,, nooo way is a phone back worth that.