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Motorola Senior VP on Competitor Smartwatches: They Are All Pretty Crappy

When it comes to the wearable space, Motorola’s Senior VP of Supply Chain and Operations, Mark Randall, thinks that the competition is “all pretty crappy.” In an interview with Trusted Reviews, Randall sat down and talked competition, Moto 360 pricing, and further announcements to come form Motorola.

With regard to the Moto 360, a smartwatch set for release in the summer with the first circular face running Android Wear, Randall feels that his company nailed the device’s ID. He states, “We have come out with what we think is a really beautiful ID. The feedback so far – and we’ve only done a very gentle release into the market – is super positive.” 

When speaking about the competition, Randall is more than likely referring to the Samsung Gear line, Sony watches, and possibly even the Qualcomm Toq. According to him, the companies did not strive to make a beautiful product. In reference to the Moto 360, “People are saying it is finally a device they would wear on their arm instead of being embarrassed about, and we haven’t even talked about functionality.”

While Randall is unable to talk specific pricing for the Moto 360, it is safe to assume that it won’t be too cheap. With Motorola releasing low-priced handsets such as the Moto G and Moto E, a few might think that they would take the same route with the 360 in terms of pricing. However, Randall says, “We don’t feel that because we have launched the Moto G or Moto E we have to price the 360 at a different price point.” From that statement, you can expect the smartwatch to carry a somewhat-premium price tag with it. 

Moto 360

Randall also claims that Motorola is not done making announcements this year. He says, “We will have more announcements throughout the year and we will have further announcements on other product categories. If you go back two years, we are resetting from the old Motorola. [Moto] X was the first product and we are gradually building out the portfolio and will continue to do so. We are completely focussed, top to bottom on the whole market.”

Even with the Lenovo transaction pending, Motorola does not appear to be slowing their roll, preparing big things for 2014. On top of the Moto 360, easily the most anticipated smartwatch of the year, the company is still keeping its next flagship smartphone under wraps to the dismay of many fanboys. It should be a big year for Moto.

Do you agree with Randall’s complaints about smartwatch offerings from different companies? Could Samsung and Sony be doing a much better job? Let’s hear your thoughts.

Via: Trusted Reviews
  • Sporttster

    Lenovo takeover is the 800lb gorilla in the room…..gonna wait…..

  • Higher_Ground

    i can’t wait much longer for a moto x+1 date… my gnex is dying a slow painful death. If it dies before July and there’s no date set I might have to get a G3 instead. I’d get the original moto X but I really want a better camera and bigger screen. Mostly I just want a wood back 🙂

  • 陈 永超

    Hopefully it got the Oleophobic feature…. Thanks

  • Morenoc12

    I’ll buy it but they need to give me a dam good phone to go along with it, and no I don’t mean in a set, just been waiting way to long for a good Motorola phone

  • needa

    at least i am able to prepare myself for a higher price. if its too high… i will just wait for them to lower it. which i doubt will take long. or maybe they will combo it with the phone for a discount. either way, my max is $350. so i will probably have to wait a couple or few months.

  • chris125

    Well he does have a point. Hope the moto watch does not disappoint

  • AbbyZFresh

    How about turning around your financial losses first.

  • PoisonApple31

    Moto 360 looks awesome – that’s great. When are we going to start talking about functionality? It better be more than just Google Now on a watch.

  • I can see this being 4-500…im hoping more around 400…if the quailty matches the price then its well worth it and im on board…yeah be nice if this is 300 bucks or something but you get what you pay for…you want a cheap smart watch there are plenty options…just like you can get a gshock for 80bucks or you get a real watch and pay the money(and im not hating on gshocks)

  • Steeve Francillon

    For 300$ I’ll get 2 or 3 of them

  • Sequence of Sound…

    If this turns out to be more than $200, which I think it will be, I hope I am patient and don’t make another mistake like I did with the Xoom. I bought that thing at a “discounted” ~$800 and now it’s an ancient relic sitting in my room, collecting dust. It’s heavy and runs out of battery too quickly, although I appreciate the amount of updates they gave it. fast forward a few years after that, the Nexus 7 was released at a much cheaper price and was much less heavy, and I actually use it everyday without thinking. The evolution of technology…this is only the beginning of smart watches. I’m sure this will be a great piece of technology, and maybe, it won’t get outdated as quickly as the Xoom did (some may argue that it was ahead of it’s time). If I compare phone to tablet and phone to smart watch, I guess you’re looking at a totally different ball game. I didn’t use my Xoom for too long because it was basically just a bigger phone. I will use this watch because it meets different needs (not having to pull the phone out of my pocket; attending to quick, glance-able items) and is a great companion to the phone.

  • OreoMan

    How cool would that be to change the face of the watch to a Rolex or Movado at will? Wake up one morning and say, “Today I fell like wearing a Tag Heuer Aquaracer 2000” and just like like, switch the face!

  • czechm8

    Not trying to rain on any parades here, but I think you are all delusional if you think this smart watch will be priced anywhere near or under $500.
    I know little of smart watches, but I collect watches and know more than the average person on that matter.
    If this smart watch has a 316 stainless case and a sapphire crystal, your already looking at a couple hondos just for that!
    I will venture to say this thing will be priced north of $500, and probably closer to $1K.

    I will seriously consider this device, but I too am concerned about pricing and the Early Adopter premium it will bring. It’s a beautiful looking piece.

  • mmark27

    Like many have said, I bet $400 is where this thing will probably debut, but think about if they released this for $200 (which I’m sure still gives them a reasonable margin), they’d crush the smart watch market. Put a 360 on lots of wrists and become a household name. “oh hey, is that the 360?” Go for the volume price over the premium price to capture the masses. They won’t, but I can dream.

  • Shane Redman

    I’ve been saving for one so when it does come out, I’ll be able to get one either way. I miss wearing a watch (broke my old faithful) and could pay for a standard replacement or get this.

  • Nick V

    As it has been said before. Android Wear is the first platform that actually makes sense. The Pebble seems to come the closest, but it still doesn’t excite me. Samsung and Sony are putting everything, and the kitchen sink, into their devices, which is not what I would expect from a smartwatch. Android Wear seems to get it, and Motorola seems to have pinned down the design. I am not a “square” watch person, and in fct don’t wear any jewelry, but the Moto X 360, I will wear that.

    • XvierX

      I wouldn’t wear Galaxy gear even if Samsung threw Android Wear on it. The design was a complete miss imo.

  • Mark Aaron Collado

    this with a black LG G3 ^_^

    • needa

      this with a pick your color, wood, or leather backed moto x2.

    • stang68

      Yeah, the sophisticated LG software design will really look nice with it LOL

      • Mark Aaron Collado

        those are the default settings. i will be running some custom rom.

  • Ryan N

    He said “We don’t feel that because we have launched the Moto G or Moto E we have to price the 360 at a different price point.” They feel they DON’T need to price it at a different price point. Whether that means a different point from the competition or a different point from the moto g or e could make that sentence mean one extreme or the other.

    Am I the only one reading it that way?

    • Nayners

      I read it that way too. I believe that’s what he’s saying.

    • Nick

      I think what he was trying to convey is that offering budget priced phones does not mean that all their devices have to be basement priced, i.e. Motorola can cater to both budget and premium customers without diluting the brand and therefore not all of their devices have to be under ~$400

      • niuguy

        I concur. Motorola doesn’t need to be a budget brand. They can do premo too. I think this watch will be.

      • Ryan N

        My inner realist agrees with you.

        My inner optimist wants to slap the logic out of both you and my inner realist.


    • calculatorwatch

      It definitely reads as if he was saying they feel it’s okay to price it similarly to the Moto G or E. If he meant different from the competition he should have just said “a lower price point” or “a similar price point” (to the G and E). However, the interviewer definitely got the impression that he was saying it would be expensive so perhaps he just misspoke.

      Judging by people’s responses on here, I’d say they would be wise to charge a premium price for the 360. It will definitely be the highest quality and most unique smart watch when it comes out, so people will be willing to pay a lot for it. As long as it lives up to expectations, Moto has done some great work with this device and they deserve to make bank on it.

    • jamaall

      It seems like they’re saying that they aren’t going to underprice it like a Moto E or Moto G. I don’t understand why everyone assumes it’ll be $500+. I’m thinking $299 still, they need to be in range with LG or Samsung’s pricing or I’m not buying it.

  • hyperbeatser

    I’d be willing to pay ~$350-450 for it

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      it’ll flop at that price point. It’s an accessory not a stand alone device. People already balked at the Galaxy Gear being $300.

      • How could it possibly be less than that? The Gear was a half-baked smartwatch that was rushed into the wearable market just because Samsung can do that. Then they wanted to charge a premium price for it as well, and that’s when people balked. Not to mention, it was only compatible with Samsung devices.

        The Moto 360 will be targeting all android handsets and is orders of magnitude more thought out and better designed than the Gear. I think it’s very safe to say this won’t retail for less than $350.

        • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

          No one “needs” a smart watch for $350. It’ll be a novelty device for the average consumer at that price point. I think moto is more interested in marketshare for this new sector. $350 isn’t the price for that. And people balking at the Gear being $300 was more about the Gear being $300. The cost is in the hardware not the software.

          • Nick

            It’ll only ‘flop’ if Moto is pushing for large market share, which shouldn’t be the goal of a premium boutique device (a la Ferrari). I hope their strategy is to target a smaller market, build a truly premium top of the line device, price it accordingly (probably $500-$600), and take success and lessons learned and trickle down to a lower end mainstream device later on if they see value in that. People who buy quality watches wont balk at that price point, and so far this looks like a watch that can fit nicely into a collection that has Tags, Omegas, etc. A great looking smart watch (hat can stand on its own as just a watch (aesthetically) with phone syncing abilities, would be a steal at $500

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            Motorola is barely making any profit at all…if any. The don’t have time for “boutique” device. They need mass market devices.

          • Nick

            And I’m willing to bet they generate higher margin % from this watch than from any other device they sell. Will it ‘save’ Moto? No, but I doubt that’s what they see this as. The G and E are positioned as low margin devices intending to capture market share in a space not already dominated by Samsung and generate revenue. They’re going to make profit on higher end devices that can be priced at a level that overcomes lower volumes. At least that’s how it will ideally work…

          • Well, I didn’t say that anyone needed a smart watch for $350, so I don’t really know where you’re going with that. It’s not so much a novelty device, as a premium watch, with smartphone-ish capabilities.

            I don’t even know what to make of your last two sentences. I think we’re on the same page, but I can’t tell haha

          • calculatorwatch

            The problem with smart watches that other premium watches don’t have is that they are destined to be outdated in a couple years. But on the other hand, I think it’s still an emerging market and the potential for mass adoption isn’t that great. Moto needs to find that sweet spot where they can get most of the people who are interested in smart watches to pay a little bit more for a premium device, but not go so far overboard as to make people decide to wait for next years model.

  • Would be kind of fitting if it ended up retailing for $359.99. A steep price tag for a watch, but the beauty of a watch is that you don’t have to worry about it falling off your wrist and cracking the screen. The most I would pay is $400, and even that is tough to swallow.

    • Nick

      Why do you say it’s steep for a watch? Tag Heuer and Omega watches are easily $3k+ and they don’t even show you text messages haha. While i understand you can get a $5 digital watch to tell time, lets be honest, this isn’t about just telling time. Also, the idea of a watch in general is becoming more boutique every day, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it rang in at $500+. To me, as a watch enthusiast, I’d consider that a steal for what you’re (theoretically) getting

      • I was talking more relative to mobile phones. I’m aware that there are watch brands that retail for thousands of dollars, but I’m comparing this to a typical flagship, off-contract smartphone, usually priced at $599. If the Moto 360 is more than that, they’ve really missed the price point, in my opinion at least.

        • Nick

          I understand the price comparison, but isn’t it kind of irrelevant? The watch isn’t meant to perform all of a phones tasks, so to say “my phone can do that and then some” doesn’t really apply. If Moto has any sense, and I trust they do, they chose to build a watch for people who already wear one (most likely higher end) and are accustomed to spending $400+ for a quality, premium watch. In this day and age, watches are no longer the tools they used to be (a phone tells time just as well), so in order to be successful it has to look good (IMO Samsung and LG to a lesser extent missed the boat on this which is why they are floundering). My hope is that Moto is smart and understands that they’re not trying to convert people to watch wearers, but rather target a smaller market that sees the value in premium wrist ware and it’ll be priced accordingly. Certainly, if it really doesn’t perform well, it doesn’t matter how its priced, it’ll fail regardless

          • I guess to me the fact that it isn’t meant to perform all the tasks a phone can do makes it all the more likely that it should at least be lower than a flagship smartphone (off-contract). I totally get what you’re saying though, in that they are more than likely targeting current watch owners, not necessarily trying to make non-watch wearers into watch wearers. Because let’s face it, typically someone who never wears a watch won’t all of a sudden be swayed into paying $400+ for a watch, regardless of what it may do.

      • Fatty Bunter

        The target audience for smart watches is not the watch enthusiast group. I guarantee you that motorola set out to make a watch that will cost far less than $1000.

        • Nick

          Certainly it will come in under that, but I disagree with the target audience not being enthusiasts when it comes to the 360. Everything about it implies as much, from the decision to make it round (and just more like a watch in general), to premium materials and hardware that make this not a budget friendly design. I bet their data shows that smart watches are going to be widely adopted by current watch wearers, and that of that segment many wearers probably have a watch in the $500 price range.

          Put another way, If you don’t already wear a watch you mostly likely won’t pay a premium to start, smart functions notwithstanding. And in order to get it somewhat cheap, corners have to be cut and you’re left with the likes of Samsung Gear. Better to build something that mimics a watch first and can stand on its own, then add in sync capabilities, and end up with a device that is widely appreciated by those who would value it most, rave about it, and through that potentially influence non watch wearers. Kind of like the iPhone and the iPad…

      • well said…people here dont get it…u want a cheap smart watch there are options for that…this isnt for you then

        • There is no “Cheap” smartwatch. There are $150+ smartwatches, but those aren’t “Cheap”. The market for this is largely something that is going to be more than $100 but less than $400. If they go higher than $400, it will die in infancy. If less than $100, they will likely lose too much money (or not make enough).

  • XvierX

    I’m eager to see the rest of the portfolio he mentioned. I agree that the current available smart watches lack style and there isn’t one that stands out based on functionality alone. Motorola seems to have a real chance at knocking this out of the park although I never expected this to be cheap. I had a feeling this would cost a pretty penny once the renders were released. This is a fancy accessory that is meant to make money. No one “needs” a smart watch but it looks nice and Motorola would be happy to take your disposable income. Don’t get me wrong I want one too but this is similar to the over the ear beats headsets that kids are go nuts over. Only this is targeted at a slightly older demographic. That being said. When and where can I get one. I need to do a little financial planning to try and but this beauty.

    • Kevin

      Don’t compare Headphones to Smart Watches (especially beats). The difference in headphones to smart watches is there has been a market for it so many years and so much to offer. While only few competitors are in smart watches so there’s no stable prices yet.

      • XvierX

        I don’t disagree that it’s an emerging market with lots of potential. I guess my point is that, even if it doesn’t offer as much in the way of practical functionality as we hope it will, gadget aficionados like myself will still be willing to dig deep into our pockets if it is pleasing to the eye.

    • Lee Winkler

      Tablets and Chromebooks….

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Motorola makes me smile. They don’t seem lost. It feels like they know _____.

  • Bloo

    Yes, the Moto 360 is hands down, the most beautiful smartwatch we’ve never seen; but we haven’t seen anything other than renders. It’s sort of like when you see a website created for a supercar from a company that only sort of exists, but already has the leather color options figured out, and boasts about “top speeds above 300 mph” and “exquisite hand-built quality” but posts an Instagram-style photo of a work shop the size of a shed. (Moto has a better presentation than that, but I’m just saying, at least release the product first)

    Sorry, I’m a little harsh–I just don’t see my favorite smartphone maker (Motorola)’s superb vision and style (read: current product pipeline trajectory and product support) lasting much longer than 15 months into the pending Lenovo ownership. And that makes me really sad. I’m worried Moto’s obsession with Kevlar and solid, unibody phones (which I happen to like), will be replaced with plastic Lenovo designs based upon my horrible, company-issued ThinkPad. I’m worried that this time next year, the “Lenovo Moto 362” will look exactly like one of those competitors’ pieces.

    • That’s why you’ll have to jump on the current Moto devices now, just in case what you’re saying is true about the future of Motorola with Lenovo.

  • rals

    While I agree with him, he shouldn’t be throwing stones at glass houses. I love the new Motorola, but realize they still have a huge uphill battle with other giants in the field if they want to be considered true competitors. They themselves are calling it a brand “resetting.”

  • humidity

    It better be less than $400. I shouldn’t have to decide between a Moto X+1 (rumored at $400) and the Moto 360…

    • Franklin Ramsey

      I remember last year when the rumors placed the price low too. Yeah, the prices came down fairly quickly, but they started out in the same territory as the other high end devices.

  • Ill buy one at what ever price it comes in at. $600 count me in. $500 same. I dont care the price. Getting a LG G Watch as well. I hope all have speaker phone like my Gear 2 and Gear 2 neo has.

    • Cory S

      I agree on the price point. I don’t really care. It could be 1,200 and I’d still get it. However, that doesn’t mean I’ll forgive any compromises it has. It needs a weeks worth of battery life minimum.

  • Raven

    I will own this watch. The only question is how far into its life cycle I will end up waiting for the price to come down. Perhaps Black Friday or Cyber Monday like I got my Moto X.

  • Walter Partlo
  • Batman

    I really, really hope we aren’t looking at a $500 watch. I really want one and certainly can’t afford it with a price tag like that!

    • Kevin

      Maybe $400?

      • jamaall

        $299 is gonna be the price in my opinion. If they price it above that, the average consumer won’t touch it.

        • MKader17

          I don’t think I’d touch it if it’s more than $150

          • Riz Virani

            It’ll 100% be more than that.

          • GRiM

            Then get a job. Or a better paid one.

        • Well, Glass is $1500… (I know, that’s Google and this is Moto…) I bet it’s at least $399. Doesn’t matter, I’ll buy it and they know it. The wife’s gonna be pissed either way.

          • jamaall

            But there’s just us android nerds that will buy it, and the stray hipsters that just want to start a trend. We’re a tiny percentage of the population and they know that also.

          • Very good point, you’re right. I hope they’ll realize that. Maybe a cheaper version with only one band, then upgrade $ for nicer bands, etc.

          • jamaall

            This is just my thought: $299 for standard color bands, then add $30 for premium metal or leather.

          • Aiden Richardson

            Glass pricing has nothing to do with it. It’s not even a consumer product yet. The price will be considerably less when it launches.

          • wynalazca

            Glass is also still a prototype program and the heavy price tag is obviously due to 1) the high cost of R&D, 2) payment for the consumer model which is included, and 3) deterring casual users that will mistake it as a finished product. I would be surprised if the consumer model of Glass is anything more than $499. I’d really hope that it is also in the $299 range or so since it is designed to be a phone accessory.

      • Andrew Gabriel

        A nice Seiko will cost $500 or more. All it does is look nice and tells the time. I am guessing this watch will be $500+ and worth every penny

      • Blue Sun

        The entry level Motoactiv (8GB) at the time of release was $250. I’m certain that they are looking at their Motoactiv sales vs price point data to find that sweet spot price-wise.

    • I’m pretty sure Mr. Wayne can afford any watch he wants.

  • Walter Partlo

    Want this.

    • SoCalPaul

      I’ll replace my Pebble for this even at $500

  • Orion

    Damn it looks like this watch will be mighty expensive. I think I’ll wait it out to see if they drop the price.

  • atc_tech

    Want one. Can’t afford to pay $600 for a watch. If it comes in $300 or below I will take one for sure.

    • Donovan

      Agreed, I’d like to pay what is deserved but over 300 is overkill.

  • 2Berad

    It has to be less then an off contract moto X.

    • Kevin

      I doubt it

  • Guy Pierce


  • Mike Sims

    All truths… I agree, this would be the first ‘smartwatch’ that I wouldn’t have to explain about or be uncomfortable wearing.

  • The Narrator

    Let’s hope Moto prices theirs right or they just look like fools.

    • hfoster52

      I bet in the $349-449 range. They did mention the circle screens were more expensive to produce due to it being a circle which led to a lot of waste.

    • Kevin

      What price range are you thinking?

  • TopXKiller

    keepin it real

  • flybass

    lol. i like his candor