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Motorola is Closing Its Texas Smartphone Factory (Updated)

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According to the Wall Street Journal, Motorola is closing its Texas factory that has been used to build custom versions of its Moto X due to weak sales and high costs. The close isn’t happening immediately, but will be done before the end of the year.

As you all know, the factory opened only a year ago and was used to build custom versions of the Moto X through a site called MotoMaker. The whole point was to quickly assemble made-to-order devices that could be shipped to US customers within a couple of days. Since sales of the Moto X did not exactly top charts, Motorola wasn’t able to keep costs low enough. 

The company originally employed as many as 3,800 people, but has since shrunk its workforce to around 700. Sources of ours tipped us to a shrinking workforce months ago, so this report doesn’t exactly come as a surprise.

We should also point out that during an interview shortly after the announcement that Lenovo would try to acquire Motorola from Google, that Lenovo wouldn’t commit to keeping the Texas plant alive. That shouldn’t shock anyone, since Lenovo likely has great connections in China for building products at low prices.

The question now is – is MotoMaker officially dead? It could be, but if Motorola is keeping the factory open until the end of the year, maybe they will make one last push with the new Moto X+1 before signing off. That’s pure speculation on my part, so don’t be shocked if the whole customization game is officially over. Maybe the new Moto X will ship with a replaceable back, like the Moto G and Moto E.

Edit:  Motorola PR confirmed the WSJ story to us, but wouldn’t comment on the future of MotoMaker at this time.

Update:  Motorola confirmed to us that MotoMaker will continue on.

Kind of sad, right?

Via:  Wall Street Journal
  • Motoxic

    Not good news for professor Glump

  • mike

    Won’t buy another moto product.

  • Steveo

    Sad, but expected. I would have kept the Moto X, if it were more like the G2, just couldn’t get use the format of 2 years ago!

  • mcdonsco

    OK, I take it back…just needs better battery and MUCH better camera.

    Size needs to stay the same (just got the g today for step dad, LOVE the size).

  • akhnaten

    What do you know!?! Google sells Motorola to Lenovo and is then surprised when sales plummet!

    • scotch1337

      You think the general consumer knew of the sale?

  • Razma

    seriously disappointed. that was one of the big attractions of this phone for me, that it was assembled in america and provided about 4000 people with jobs. it was a sign that manufacturing was coming back to America instead of going to China for everything, apparently it was just a dream

    • akhnaten

      As Toys Samurai said so well, the plant shutdown is a result of Google mis-management, not whether or not manufacturing in America is feasible. Between the fumbled launch and then the last nail in the coffin of selling Moto to Lenovo, this phone (or American manufacturing) never had a fair chance.

  • I can’t help but think that Google itself ruins the chance to make any impact in the market. First of all, the customization was only available to a single carrier at launch. Next, the phone was sold with last year’s spec at a price comparable to other flagship at its time (despite the fact that the Moto X is highly optimized, but the general public wouldn’t care.) Lastly, traditional marketing is next to non-existence — how many times you’ve seen a Moto X commercial on TV at launch? Comparing to say, the Note 3? But this point is meaningless, because of point 1, the biggest selling point is only available to 1 carrier at launch, remember?

    I can’t imagine what would happen if the Moto X’s customization is available on all carriers at launch, with a price tag of $399 off contract for the 32Gb version. It could have been a LOT more successful.

  • we…at least my moto maker ebony wood back with red accents developer edition(thanks to the chinese middleman) will hold me over fro another year or so

  • well…now we all got classics one of a kind motomaker x’s…woo

  • maybe if good and moto actually spent the 50million they were supposed to on advertising people would have known about the phone and purchased it…its their own fault…so sad bc its easily the best phone ive ever used

  • Mike_Cook7

    I truly believe that a removable battery, SD card and some more advertising could have done wonders here…..

  • Corey Foltman

    i don’t get why they didn’t just manufacture all the different combinations on an as needed basis. instead of snapping fronts and backs together on an as needed basis… sucks for all the employees though

  • Daniel Renfroe

    I live in Dallas,, and this was a major point in my book as to why I went with the X. I am disappointed by this move…

  • n900mixalot

    Oh boohoo … Same old Motorola BS. The Xoom was great too and look how that went. None of these manufacturers care about anything more than their bottom line.

    And people on this site especially need to stop crying. The phones didn’t sell because they can’t compete in a world where Android fans attack one another over stupid things like specs.

    Should have known that going in.

  • jimbob

    “blah blah blah…..screw Samsung and Apple, they only win because of marketing spend….blah blah blah”

    Maybe if the companies you hold so dear would realize that marketing is almost always the way to win in business, they could compete and not fail. Humans do not buy the things that are best for them or that they most need. They buy the things that someone tells them they need, or that their neighbor or a celebrity has. Humans are strange creatures, and marketing is the science of getting them to spend money on whatever it is you want them to. Not that hard to figure out.

    • M3D1T8R

      Speak for yourself, not for all human beings regarding what they do or do not buy. Or I must not be one of these “humans” you speak of.

    • MicroNix

      What about all the humans that are saying “I can’t wait for the Note (x) to come out” long before the Samsung marketing machine even announces the phone? Because those are the kinds of things I hear. Not, “holy cow, did you see the new corny Samsung commercial? I’m running out and buying one because I have to have it!” Give me break on the marketing. Some phones sell themselves based on previous purchases or the buzz from others who love their phone. Conversely, if you screw over your customers with garbage phones, don’t expect them coming back for your next flagship phone after your “rebirth”.

  • C-Law

    I love my moto x. Feels snappier than my friend’s S5. I hate to see this happen. I wanted to get the next moto x but lenovo and this news have me very concerned

    • hoosiercub88

      I can’t agree with you on phone snappiness, but I can agree that I love my Moto X. This was a pretty obvious happening since Lenovo bought the company, it would happen sooner or later. I don’t think Lenovo/Moto are going to bring anything amazing to the next X.. I’ll probably get myself a G3 or a Z2 if they ever actually become available.

  • Droid 1967

    I think the fact that he refused to comment on the future of motomaker tells you the future right there.

  • Taglogical

    I picked up the Moto X recently to replace my Bionic (thank you for the applause), which it doesn’t for several reasons (no SD, battery life, and absolutely unusable outdoors; so much for Google Navigation on the Moto X) … Poor decision of using OLED aside, the Moto X is otherwise thoughtfully designed and beautifully crafted. It is a perfect form-factor that I don’t see a compelling reason to change. The camera is Moto’s best/very quick and functional. The device is faster than all the quad-core devices I have tried – buttery. And the unique features that Moto implemented, touchless control, Active Notifications (which the mini proved works on a LCD), twist to quickly open camera, it’s a highly functional, brilliant phone (provided you are indoors or can find extreme shade) that could be made into the best phone of all time with a simple LCD.
    You had to know this move was coming by the new Chinese owner, Lenovo – made in America? That was never going to fly/continue. Which is too bad/sad, and further makes me resent Google.

    • You get an upvote for owning a Bionic. Been there, done that.

      • hoosiercub88

        Me too, and I ran.. far faaar away once I finally got my chance 🙂

    • psuturtle

      Not that many couldn’t see this move coming…but Lenovo does manufacture PCs in the US (North Carolina to be specific). So while it holds true in this case, it’s still a generalization. Lenovo already has mobile device plants up and running in China, and they’re some gaining share in the WW market ahead of the acquisition being complete (i.e. without Moto). The big push for Moto after the acquisition is going to be in emerging markets, so I don’t know why closing the Texas plant really comes as a big shock.

      That being said, I hope the motomaker feature continues. If there’s enough of a competitive advantage from doing it, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Lenovo bringing some mobile manufacturing back to the US eventually. The plant in NC is a perfect example. Lenovo and IBM had moved all PC manufacturing outside of the US quite some time ago, but then recently opened and since expanded the plant in NC. As labor prices in China continue to rise (as they have been for a while), you could see more getting pulled back into the US if the business model makes sense financially.

    • hoosiercub88

      You are kidding right? As someone who had the Bionic for the better part of a year, I will disagree with you in every regard save for SD card, which isn’t something I honestly care about with a 32Gb phone.

      The battery life is bad on the Moto X, but it doesn’t drop 20% when I look at it wrong. The display is OLED, which does look nice and I’m starting to get a little burn-in, which isn’t pretty, but it’s considerably prettier than the horrid mess that was the Bionic’s display, and I can definitely see my Moto X outdoors just fine in the sunlight.

      This decision is an obvious one for Lenovo as a business, it is unfortunate but I don’t know why you’d hold this against Google or Lenovo..

  • Higher_Ground

    While I don’t think of myself as shallow, there’s probably no way I’d buy a moto X or X+1 without motomaker. For that matter, it’s wood or bust for me.

    • I don’t think that’s being shallow at all. And I think I may agree with you, but then again that’s probably because I never owned a non-Motomaker Moto X.

  • d-rock

    Motorola Moto X failed b/c of marketing (or lack there of). Anytime you have a better product than your competitor and it sells less than said competitor, your marketing has failed.

  • acgr4me

    I used to work in the 1 million square foot Motorola factory in Harvard, IL back when we had the old Razr’s. It was a state of the art facility. As soon as they called us in and told us “We just want to let you guys know that the phone you are building cost us $18 bucks (for example) but in China it costs us $8 bucks, but that doesn’t mean you will be losing your jobs, we are just sayin”. We knew we were screwed after that meeting. Two meetings later goodbye state of the art facility. Hello unemployment. Good times.

  • SewWhat

    Asshats… I was really impressed with the USA label and planning to get a moto maker X when I finally ditched Verizon and went to republic. if all I’m going to do is increase Lenovo’s bottom line for the sake of shareholder dividends and not help our own economy then I’ll just go cheaper and do the moto g.. this is VERY disappointing. Another grand idea swallowed up in the American greed machine. Google was Moto’s only hope… the dark side has won…the brand as a whole will be gone in 5 yrs. IMO. Someone needs to explain to these PC vested morons that unlike the pc market just becasue you drop a great product you’re not going to see but a small return on it initially Mobile phones aren’t like pcs. people are typically tied to the device in contract and are typically not going to drop a sum just to get a new phone.

  • Davyd

    I’ll guess they’ll have to use indentured servants, children and dump manufacturing waste down the toilet like Apple does in China.

    • scotch1337

      That is a pious statement you make on your computer. Where was that made?

  • Ronald Bernard

    Maybe if the manufacturers would stop pushing out phones at such high rates of speed, then maybe things such as Motomaker would be able to survive. The market is entirely saturated and kind of ridiculous. But thats just my opinion. I am not a “techie” per say but do love learing about technology. I am just so sick of seeing companies release a phone then 4-6 months later the “newer” version comes out. Common folk can not afford to change their phones so much especially with carrier limitations. I wish Google would stop screwing around and take full control of Android and build their own Android Phones. Honestly I don’t think most of these companies would be doing so well if the did not have Android for a platform. Like I said I am no techie these are just my feelings from what I have seen over the past few years since being introduced to Android. Commence…smart ass comments! LOL

  • wtd2009

    such a bummer, so many jobs lost.

  • Christopher

    I wont say I am surprised. Scumbag Lenovo has no vested interest in keeping American jobs.

    • shooter50

      Why scumbag Lenovo? Google didn’t have to sell to them. Your anger should be directed at Google.

      • Christopher

        Who said im angry bro? Moto X is a second tier phone and their products are now focused on second tier stuff. Don’t even want. I feel bad for those people that lost their jobs.

  • Shnyda

    MotoX is the best phone I’ve ever owned. Screw you Google for selling Motorola to the Chinese.

  • Mike

    Good thing I got my replacement moto maker!

  • MichaelFranz

    I’m disappointed but think they could keep the factory just maybe in a smaller location. The motomaker idea is great but I think the ATT exclusivity killed it. A carrier wide launch of motomaker and day 1 availability would of been the right push. The normal user saw moto x as a normal phone and not something like an iPhone or galaxy. Something as great as motomaker available right away would of attracted far more business I think.

  • johntb

    a possible sad end to an amazing phone. too good to be true, I suppose. The Moto X is a phone I could live with for a long time.

  • Alan Marchman

    Not surprising, but I salute those fine people that assembled my Moto X.

  • Nayners

    Sad news for the local economy, yes. However, I believe that this will lower the cost for the next moto flagship(s).

    • needa

      you are talking eleven bucks per device.

      • Nayners

        And where did you pull that from?

        • needa

          the reports from back when the moto x was first released. in all honesty thirteen is what is sticking in my head right now. but i am pretty sure eleven is the correct figure. thirteen total. minus two bucks for chinese labor.

          • Nayners

            We must have seen different reports.

          • needa

            i reckon so. i would usually search google right now to prove me right. but it isnt worth it for something so trivial.

  • droidrazredge

    This is a bit of a bummer, this was such a success story at that time for having a customizable phone assembled in the US. At the same time it’s sad to hear about the 3100 people that got laid off having to find another job due to the size reduction. In regards to that I want to personally say thank you to all the people who worked at the Flextronics Facility in Texas for assembling the Moto X through Motomaker. I really enjoy this device and the build quality is great. I have found a really great device that I do not regret purchasing. In the end I can at least say after all the dust settles I had the first and last Motorola phone assembled in the US.

  • Arty McBert

    Way to go Google. Instead of pumping millions into Motorola for ad campaigns, you instead continue to let Samsung eat up the entire Android market, making it incredibly difficult for anyone to compete unless they are willing to fork over billions in ads.

    • needa

      i am of the mind that adverts don’t really matter anymore. the name galaxy and samsung is too synonymous with android/non iphones/big phones/neat phones/great phones. i have one or two peeps a month ask me if my moto x is the new samsung, or galaxy. compared to the one or two that ask me ‘what phone is that’? generally when i say it is not a samsung phone, i can tell they no longer want to have a conversation.

  • NexusMan

    Very sad. I hope MotoMaker remains though. They can still do it…but just not with such fast delivery waits.

  • Inder Techboy
  • Godzilla

    That’s what happens when you let China win.

    • Mothra

      Maybe if you didn’t attack Japan so much Japan would win.

  • Chris VanAnden

    I really wish people embraced the Moto X more than they did. Outside of the DL community, it seems like a rarity. Anyone I know that has the phone loves it. I’ve convinced a few non DLers to get it and they love it too.

    It’s a shame that Galaxy is becoming synonymous with Android…I’m personally not a Samsung fan. My next phone will likely be an HTC if Lenovo doesn’t put out anything exciting.

    • rawr

      Soon Lenovo will own HTC too.

      I don’t know how strong anti-trust laws in Korea are but we could eventually see Samsung vs Lenovo vs Apple with Google too absorbed in adwords and self driving cars to care that a world they helped create is becoming the same as ISPs/Telecoms/Oil/Banks/all the other sudo-duopolies.

      • Nikuliai

        Lenovo owning HTC makes no sense, Motorola was a fine buy, they have the contacts and are avaliable worldwide, buying HTC now would be redundant (And HTC doesn’t have any presence on latinamerica)

    • needa

      i feel like i should go and edit my comment above as i used the same wording and said the same thing.

      • Chris VanAnden

        Vent that frustration! haha

    • wtd2009

      my take was that it was probably a combination of things. moto had just about everything going for it between the creative approach, customization and timely updates, sorftware and new processors it was truly a unique and fresh take and challenged our idea of the smartphone experience. however, as a company not selling a product named “iphone” or galaxy” they are truly fighting an uphill battle in winning over reviewers on mainstream websites/companies. basically, this phone had to be perfect for it to overcome that stigma and hold the title of best smartphone of the year, which i believe would have given them momentum among consumers both mainstream and niche. while i feel it was an excellent product and by far the most appealing device of last year, they didn’t quite hit it out of the park with reviewers, as there were always some essential features reviewers complained about like battery or camera (for better or worse, a major focus in reviews). ths, the name wasn’t as prevalent as it should have been, and to this day most people have no idea what moto x is.

      the other thing, which is by far the most important, is regardless of the quality of their product they really needed to pour everything they had into marketing it. everything. the “X” brand could be so easy to stick in someone’s mind. it’s sipmle, concise, and unique enough to stand out. but if you can’t plaster it everywhere and advertise it like no other, then it’s a wash.

  • Larry Bublitz

    Poop.

  • crazed_z06

    And people accuse Sammy of gimmicks.. lulz

    • n900mixalot

      Heheh. Samsung gimmicks don’t cost people THEIR JOBS.

  • Droid Ronin

    Does this mean that I won’t be able to get a customized strap and backplate for my Moto360 and receive it in 4 days?

  • j

    NOT SURPRISED. There’s plenty of reasons why pretty much everyone outsources device manufacturing to China.. ..

  • pizzaparties

    I’ve always been surprised by the love for this. I have a customized moto x, but it’s in a case so I don’t see any of it.

  • The Dude

    No one should be surprised given the high labor costs and expenses in the US. And it doesn’t make a difference anyway, we live in a global economy. Nissan/Honda/many foreign companies open plants in the US because its cost feasible, and US companies move offshore and plants close because of the same reason. We need to move beyond fake patriotism and ‘US jobs are being lost’.

  • Jeff

    Nuts. I’m not surprised though. Too bad that whole “made in the USA” bit isn’t true anymore…not that it was 100% true anyway.

    • NexusMan

      It was always “Assembled in the USA.”

  • regkilla

    That sure lasted!

  • XvierX

    Can you believe it?

  • sagisarius

    Bit of a bummer, this was such a success story at that time. Though honestly, my biggest concern is that they keep doing MotoMaker.

  • Orion

    I just want my damn moto phablet and I’ll be happy! lol

  • trophynuts

    the amount of butthurt in this thread will be the size of texus….

  • moelsen8

    sad indeed, but i’m fine with replaceable backs.

    • turdbogls

      yup. would have been much easier for them to sell 2 versions of the phone (white and black) and just offer a slew of replaceable backs a-la Moto G.

  • Anthony

    The personalization seemed to be one of the stand-out features, so hopefully MotoMaker will survive–albeit with longer ship times from overseas.

    • Nikuliai

      the G and E have customization too, and in the right way if you ask me (and I have a Moto X), the fact you can remove the back is MUCH better since it gives you more options and it also makes it easier to replace if the back gets damaged

  • Joel M

    Sad news. I hope that they continue to support the Moto X. I just purchased a new one two months ago. I didn’t realize sales were this bad.

    • needa

      they had sold half a million by november i think. which isn’t too bad considering 90% of the world could not get their hands on it. in all honesty they botched the launch of the x quite a bit. which is a whole other story all together. under lenovo i have to think that this figure would rise quite a bit with more people able to buy.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Motorola itself isn’t going anywhere. This report is just that they will be ending the contract at the custom assembly plant in Texas. It is entirely possible that doing so is in anticipation of moving the assembly to Lenovo’s plant in NC after the sale is complete.

      • Joel M

        Good to know. Moto X is my third Motorola smartphone. I would hate to see them disappear in the future. Android needs competition between the manufacturers. I avoided Samsung on purpose and upgraded to a Moto X. I love Moto stock android approach and build quality.

  • M3D1T8R

    : (
    That’s sad news. For Motorola, the state of the smartphone market, and American manufacturing.

    • Jason Downing

      I agree. 4k new jobs to 0 within a year.. pretty sad.

      *Side note – Your shrooms suck

      • M3D1T8R

        : )

    • Cowboydroid

      Actually, it’s good news. It means resources won’t be wasted on a failing venture, and will instead be invested in more profitable ventures.

      • M3D1T8R

        Yeah because further deterioration of America’s already dwindling manufacturing economic base is a good thing, because, you know, a dollar.

        • Cowboydroid

          If America’s “manufacturing economic base” is sucking wind by posting shortfalls, what’s the point in keeping it alive? Throw more debt at it? And what does that accomplish?

          You can blame politics for America’s economic regress. Every time politicians meddle by imposing tariffs, price fixing, wage fixing, regulations that favor established business, quotas on production, etc., the economy shrinks.

          • M3D1T8R

            Right, don’t “meddle” with the all mighty perfect Free Market God by imposing pesky regulations which try to inhibit monopolistic practices. Just allow the multinationals, who have no allegiance whatsoever to the US, or any country for that matter, to do whatever they want, continuing the endless race to the bottom, as cities and states continue to trip over one another seeing who can drop to their knees the fastest in servitude to the ever loving Corporate God, at the expense of vital services and infrastructure, all so the corporate CEO’s/management can claim ever greater profits, and the rest of us get to reap the short term benefit of slightly cheaper products made overseas at the expense of long term stability and sustainability. Great plan! Never mind that real income has stagnated or dropped for most of us the last three decades or so, this way of doing things has been working great for those who matter, those at the very top (you know, the so called “job creators” who make their money by closing US plants or other such scams that the US economy is currently made up of) , might as well continue! /s

            Seriously though, I do agree with you that some regulations “that favor established business”, such as the current ridiculous abuse of patents which is increasingly entrenching just a few powers (Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, for example in this area), are harmful.

            Anyway, this is why I don’t like getting into political discussions online, especially on a cell phone site message board.

          • Cowboydroid

            Regulations do not inhibit monopolistic practices. They promote them. By raising barriers to entry, regulations prevent competition with established businesses.

            Your caricature of the free market and free enterprise is the typical, unbelievable socialist swill designed to appeal to emotion and feelings instead of logic and fact.

  • Ralph Bretz

    Never expected the Texas plant to remain open after the Lenovo purchase anyhow. Lenovo has two assembly plants in North Carolina already, why would they need other in Texas?
    I hope that the operation is moved to one of those plants. I’d love a MotoMaker Developer Moto X2.

    • Tony Byatt

      Well, North Texas is a better logistical location for a plant or warehouse…

      • Brian Menius

        You forgot your asterisk on “better” for your disclaimer.

        • Tony Byatt

          Don’t know what you mean…I can’t think of an item I ordered that has passed through or originated in NC…

          There have been a myriad of occasions where an item I’ve ordered has passed through or originated in North Texas…

          • Brian Menius

            I’m implying that nobody reading this story as a layperson outside of either company has the detail necessary to call what’s “better.” If Lenovo has a final assembly and warehouse operation in NC, there’s surely some reason they deemed it to be better than their alternatives, wouldn’t you think? Yes, based on the very incomplete information you have, you may think north Texas is favorable to NC. Similarly, I believe Memphis is favorable to north Texas. Your reasons and my reasons are probably very different, but we’d both be careless in our statements as neither of us have properly qualified them. That’s the point I’m trying to make.

          • Chris VanAnden

            Could be as simple as tax laws or cost of operation. I really have no idea though.

          • You could’ve just asked him why he thinks it would be a better location, instead of talking in circles to finally get to the point.

          • Brian Menius

            That wasn’t really my point. I don’t particularly care why he thinks it’s better. My point was to highlight that such a blanket statement really isn’t meaningful.

          • If you don’t care, then why bother? Just for the record, I totally agree that it was a blank statement.

      • Ralph Bretz

        Geographically yes, but if you look at the population denisity of the U.S. most of it centers in the Eastern region minus 3/4 of California.

        • rawr

          California can be discounted as their state phone is the iPhone and no one of integrity has chosen to inhabit the lower west coast.

          • This is so true.

          • MistaButters

            Hey! As a southern california resident I resent that :p

            I know a lot of people with Android phones. I know very few people with PCs.

      • Big EZ

        Not to mention Texas is one of the most business friendly states. Although a manufacturing plant isn’t headquarters, so that doesn’t really matter much.

    • zurginator

      Lenovo doesn’t own moto yet.

  • needa

    i wouldn’t worry about this being the end of motomaker. they have other plants around the world that they build moto xes in.

  • Jimmy James

    There is no hope for manufacturing jobs in the US. Legal slave labor overseas is always the way to go for lowering costs.

    • Bryan Mills

      Yep, keep em workin’

    • rawr

      Robots are the way to go.

      From manufacturing all the way to fast food.

      No more riots about minimum wage when robots work for free.

      • Yea then you’ll be on the corner holding a sign saying “Will work for food”

        • rawr

          How would I be on the corner? I do not work in manufacturing or fast food.

          Thanks though!

    • sirmeili

      I’ve actually heard that in some industries, manufacturing in the US can yeild similar costs (depends on the “quality” desired). Basically for a high quality item, the costs to manufacturer it are very little between the US and China (when you also take into account shipping/freight costs). One of those industries obviously isn’t electronics. We just don’t have the manufacturing infrastructure here needed to build electronics from the ground up anymore on any great scale.

      *The above is here say and obviously the latter part is merely my opinion on why we don’t have electronics manufacturing here anymore. We just let ourselves fall too far behind.

  • Brandon Sobotta

    the only android I would have ever consider buying.

    • Ray

      I guess it’s too late now. Don’t let the door hit you…

    • Blue Sun

      It’s still available for purchase. What’s stopping you?

      • Brandon Sobotta

        I have a great phone. It’s called a Lumia 925. My last Android was a Rezound. It was the last time I was going to be burned by android.

  • jpfrasier

    I live near Fort Worth and this is very sad indeed.

  • Justtyn Hutcheson

    I’ve been one of the most bullish when it comes to the future of MotoMaker and its potential, so to say I’m disappointed is an understatement.

    I applaud Motorola Mobility for their bold effort. Even if it wasn’t commercially successful, they weren’t afraid to go for it. Hats off to the hard working men and women who made it happen, and I hope that each and every one can find a happy home elsewhere.

    • John S

      Well said. Thank you

  • shooter50

    I hope this puts to rest all the fanboyism about how great this phone was selling. Never once saw one in the realworld outside of a store. Never heard anyone mention it outside of tech blogs. Never saw a commercial for it, although I heard they did exist. Unlike the Nexus 5, this was an overpriced mid level device at launch. At least the Nexus 5 was priced in keeping with what it offered.

    • If anyone claimed that this phone was selling well, then they were clueless. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t an amazing phone.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        And it also depends on what you call selling well. It was never going to see Samsung or Apple numbers. But it was definitely doing better than their previous fragmented efforts. Just not well enough to keep a large assembly plant open in the US.

        They gambled and lost. It sucks for everyone, but it happens.

        • James

          “It was never going to see Samsung or Apple numbers” – based on what logic? I think Moto thought they could sell a ton, at least at first. They tried to do a lot of things right, but they screwed up some key points like pricing and availability. I think their gamble had a good chance of paying off, but alas, it did not come to pass.

          • Right. If they had started with a $399 off-contract price and $99 on, they would’ve sold a lot more. Then there was the AT&T exclusive for a while, which never should have happened.

          • zurginator

            They might have sold more, sure – but would they have sold the massive amounts they would have had to to make any money on that? Probably not, and we’d be in the same situation again.

          • NexusMan

            Based on the sheer fact that it did not launch globally. It launched in a very limited segment in comparison to Apple and Samsung.

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            I would expect the people at Motorola to be optimistic, but based on any reasonable market analysis, the Moto X, without a huge marketing push at least, would never sell that well. 900k units in the first quarter is nice, but Samsung and Apple are 30 times that. They are not comparable.

            The total capacity in the TX plant was 100k units/wk. Figure a minimum of 50% of that capacity to be profitable. That’s a steady 600k units/Q just to remain profitable. Given that they have dropped to less than 25% of their initial staff already I think we can safely assume the actual sales number wasn’t even close.

    • Doesn’t change the fact that MotoMaker was a bold attempt to bring ColorWare-type personalization to the smartphone world, without the exorbitant cost. It was an exciting prospect that, hopefully, doesn’t die with this factory.

      • MicroNix

        Something that a case does for the majority of the population?

    • Tony Byatt

      Well, there were plenty of commercials on TV and I’ve seen plenty of ads around town…You must not watch TV or go outside…

      It’s still a great phone that had a terrible launch…

      • n900mixalot

        It didn’t have a terrible launch. NO ONE WANTED IT.

    • Disagree on the commercial front. I saw plenty when it first came out. Mainly the one with the Kanye mix and all the different color combinations.

    • NexusMan

      I used to see the commercials every day, all day, sometimes multiple times in the same program. So I’m not sure how much TV you were watching or what type of programming. And Ive seen magazine ads as well as posters all around. And 2 people I work with have Moto X’ and I’ve seen another in the wild. And A few other people I work with have talked about it. I hope this puts to rest the use of fake words like “fanboyism.”

    • Gr8Ray

      I watch mostly DVR’d programming so I can skip commercials, and even then I still saw dozens of ads for the Moto X. There were even different campaigns, and some of them were actually pretty funny. Maybe you saw them and just didn’t realize what you were seeing.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtHtmC8pSDM

  • Bigsike

    This is why US ownership is a huge deal! we must keep this in mind when we back any company. It’s that important..

    • Ray

      I think it has more to do with actual sales then who owns the company.

      • Bryan Mills

        Yep, when you make a phone that doesn’t stand a chance next to flagship phones, nobody is going to want it. Especially with that horrendous price they started with.

        • James

          Wrong. Apple has been doing it for years. Specs mean relatively little to most everyday consumers. Though I agree Moto messed up with the pricing.

          • Bryan Mills

            I’m not talking about Apple. I’m talking about Android

          • Bob G

            Yet, your original post just said “a phone”.
            So now that someone pointed out your failed logic, you decided to make up caveats. MURICA!

          • James

            You’re actually talking about phones. Not to mention there are lots of Android phones with top specs that fail to sell.

          • NexusMan

            He’s looking at your entire lineup, HTC.

          • Chris VanAnden

            While you may be referring to apple, what James said is accurate. Apple has proven that price means nothing to the vast majority. They want it because they just want it.

            Apple created a brand loyalty years ago and they can milk it. Motorola on the other hand…well most of us haven’t liked them since the days of forgetting how to spell words. They tried to revitalize themselves with the Droid Razrs (the OG Droid was a solid phone though)….but when you have to keep putting out a new model every couple of months because the previous one sucked…people stay away. I personally HATED the razr lineup.

            The moto x seemed like a step in the right direction, unfortunately they likely don’t have the kind of cash reserve to last long enough to create the presence that Samsung and Apple have made. Instead they need to be innovative…unfortunately they’ve proven that innovation goes to more than just customization of looks.

          • Kyle

            Wrong…..most Apple users know that multiple generations of the iPhone (4, 4S, 5, 5S) will have the same exact OS updates. So what do they look at when they’re making the decision to upgrade…..the hardware SPECS. Everyone wants to know what will be different when they upgrade. They want to see the newer version core, storage capacity, RAM, camera specs, etc. But most are comparing their iPhone specs to the newer iPhone specs. The common user may not be able to thoroughly compare iPhone specs to an Android phone specs, because shopping sites just say the new iPhone is quad core, or new A7 chip.

            The same thing goes for Android phones as well, especially now that the OS is so widely used. With Android, shopping sites show phone specs like, 2.3 Ghz Quad Core Processor. And sometimes it’ll actually say it’s a Snapdragon 801, which again adds another comparison piece to look at. I tell friends all the time when upgrading that the Android OS’s primary look and feel will be fundamentally the same with some minor tweeks, but the real thing to look at is the specs and size of the physical phone.

            Both images below are from the Verizon Wireless site for the HTC One M8 and iPhone 5.

          • SerenityNow

            I agree with your point 100%. Most iPhone owners I know weigh the decision of an upgrade based on changes to the hardware and/or any unique features that are exclusive only to the new device (e.g. Siri when the 4S launched in 2011). This whole notion that all iPhone owners buy a new product every time something is released with an Apple logo on it is lazy and stupid. I know plenty of people with Android phones and plenty with iPhones and can safely say that one group isn’t any smarter than the other. Hell, plenty of people who buy Android phones don’t even know what “Android” is. They just know that they bought a Samsung or HTC phone with a big screen that looks much more visually appealing than the iPhone’s screen.

          • That last part is pretty spot on. Trying to explain the concept of a manufacturer skin over the Android OS is a pain.

          • MicroNix

            The heck specs don’t matter to consumers. During each launch of an iPhone, specs are plastered everywhere throughout the presentation and then plastered in every news outlet around the globe. Making such a huge deal out of specs is what Apple uses to convince the masses to upgrade. You are so incredibly wrong!

      • Bigsike

        That is always a possibility but a foreign company will not hesitate to close any US plant. That’s been proven over and over again.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Lenovo does not own Motorola yet. Also, Lenovo has assembly plants in NC that are running quite strong. It is entirely possible that Motorola are just preparing for the buy out and a post-sale intent to move the MotoMaker operations to those facilities since Lenovo paying an outside assembly company for facilities when they own their own is laughable.

        • Bob G

          A “local” company will not hesitate to close any US plant either when it is bleeding money due to high costs and low sales. That is just smart business logic.

          If the Moto X was selling millions in the US, no one would close the plant.
          If USA’s labor costs wasn’t so ridiculously high, no one would close the plant.

    • zurginator

      Lenovo doesn’t own them yet.

  • randompsychology

    MotoMaker is super awesome. Hope they keep it going regardless of plant location…

  • npompei

    Interesting the with apparent X+1 on the horizon – so what does that mean for future MotoMaker editions down the road?! Shame for those who work there…

  • Ryan Powell

    Way to go people that didn’t buy the Moto X. You ruined it for everyone. And ‘Merica!!

    • regkilla

      I don’t have it but it felt so good in my hand as I held it and played with it.

      • Weber

        That’s what she said.

        • James

          well played

    • James

      Seriously. A great phone that could have launched a great future direction for Android.

      This is why I’m worried about the LG G3 too. If that bad boy can’t sell – even after LG has clearly tried to answer just about everybody’s wish list – then I really wonder where Android will go.

      • Back to Google, to be honest I know everybody here loves options but I wanna see Google take control over Android and drive it to be a true Google phone like it’s destined to be. I think Android has great potential but these manufacturers are ruining what it could be.

        • Bionicman

          Google has the Nexus line which while being a great low price option, doesn’t sell that well. While I think there are many people who may not care about certain specs, i think companies like Samsung who sell so many Android devices entice people with features they think they would like. I consider myself a power user and I enjoy the features they offer which is why i got a Samsung phone. Isn’t choice one of the main points of Android?

          • It also wasn’t a highly advertised brand either. If Google took Android made it with great specs, hardware, a couple extras and advertised it I believe it would do great. My argument is that Android would have a lot more potential in the hands of Google, more than what it is now.

          • SerenityNow

            The irony of this is what some of you guys are looking for is the Apple model – one company to control both the software and hardware design. I prefer this approach myself, but I know that others in the past have argued that one of the advantages of Android was the choice, differentiation, etc created by the product offerings of multiple OEMs.

          • ChristianPasquariello

            Maybe the idiots don’t want choice. It’s lazy thinking. Becky has I-phone. Cindy sees I-phone. I-phone pretty. Cindy want I-phone. Cindy sees Beats headphones. Beats headphones pretty….. see how this goes?

          • Taglogical

            True, idiots don’t want choice; one option is way less frustrating and confusing for stupid people. And that’s where Android comes in, for those people who do want choices.

          • I think you’re confusing choice of customization and personalization with choice of manufacturers. To my understanding the choice argument was always about customization and making the phone mine. Whereas Apple phones didn’t allow much customization and isn’t open source. I may be wrong but in my opinion that’s what the choices argument was all about.

          • MicroNix

            No the choice arguments were also that Android (the OS) was “open and free” allowing manufacturers to take them to whatever level they saw fit. For many, the Amazon tablets are the boss whether you personally think that’s great or not. Others (and I mean many others) think that what Samsung is doing is the bomb. Its about allowing the manufacturers to do whatever they wanted with it. If you (defined as an Android purist) want the pure Google experience, then you buy a Nexus phone.

          • Not a purist (mostly Samsung, very interested in the G3 though) and never owned a Nexus device but if Google can make an “Android Silver” phone/phablet with LG hardware (preferably G3) Samsung camera tech and stock Android with a little extras (IR Blaster) I’d be all over it.

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          • Michael G

            The Moto X has great specs and hardware. I agree that they failed in advertising.

          • It does not have great specs. It does perform exceptionally.

          • Michael G

            What about the specs do you think are not great?

          • It fails to meet the industry standard for top specs in multiple categories:

            Display: 720p (not 1080p)
            Processor: Dual-core (not quad-core)
            Camera: 10 MP (not bad, but not 13 MP either)

            That being said, it is an amazing phone. I was simply clarifying that its specs are not great. They are slightly above average at best. What makes it great is its performance, look, and feel.

          • Michael G

            The Moto X has a total of 8 cores dedicated to different processes. The main core is dual so people think it’s just a dual core phone. The 720p is just fine for a 4.7″ phone. And my camera takes great pictures. Google and Motorola put in exactly what was needed for this phone, that is why it works exceptionally well. The specs may not be top of the line but they are great.
            I know what you’re saying but I think consumers have gotten way too obsessed with industry standards.

          • Dude, I’m on your side, if there is such a thing. But you simply can’t call the Moto X a phone with great specs in today’s world. You could 2-3 years ago, but not anymore.

          • n900mixalot

            This is Android, there are no sides. Creating sides is part of what has ruined the Moto X and other great phones. Way to go.

          • What are you on? This is a discussion. Yes, about Android. Your statement is irrelevant. There are always sides in a conversation.

          • n900mixalot

            This is a discussion, yes, but it isn’t dodgeball. There are no sides, only perspectives.

          • Okay, now you’re just being picky. Sides and perspectives are synonymous in common vernacular.

          • TC Infantino

            If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.

          • Michael G

            Yeah I know. I’m just bitter at Google for selling most of Motorola away. lol

          • I’m right there with you on that haha

          • michael arazan

            It’s a great phone, compared to the Galaxy Nexus

          • n900mixalot

            No. They failed to sell them overseas to a market that wanted them. They failed to build what millions wanted. This has NOTHING to do with marketing. I wish people would stop thinking that marketing is everything.

          • Shawn John

            Ha, Power user and you have a Samsung?

          • n900mixalot

            Yes. Most of us do because *we can still swap out the battery*.

          • Shawn John

            If you had a “power” user phone you wouldn’t be doing Jurassic things like swapping out a battery.

          • Bionicman

            its still an android phone. you do remember samsung made a nexus phone right? you can root most samsung phones as well. anyways this isnt about samsung its about motorola and im glad to hear they announced that they are not stopping motomaker but i did think that was a nice feature.

        • Stingray42

          Just need VZW to turn on the VoLTE, then maybe we’ll see a Nexus phone on VZW…

          • michael arazan

            Doesn’t matter, VoLTE would only be available in 4G areas leaving 60% of the 3G areas would be dead unless it fell back onto 3G

      • Dave

        Well as much as we complain about plastic phones and Touchwiz, Samsung represents something like 70% of Android activations. That should keep the platform rolling for a while.

        • I don’t think anyone is worried that the platform will stop rolling. But some are worried about WHERE it’s currently rolling.

          • n900mixalot

            That’s up to Google and I don’t know if people have noticed but Google is locking things up left and right.

          • MicroNix

            Yes, like screwing with SD cards. Not happy about that one Google. And for the manufactures, most are lightening their skins now so I’m not sure what the heck Frodo is talking about. What is the wrong direction that Android is going???

    • rawr

      Lots of companies are now coming to America for manufacturing, Moto just isn’t very good.

      Foreign car companies do great here (not so much domestics though).

      • Zastupnik

        Agent Rawr ! ?

      • sirmeili

        I believe the reason that Imports do better here is because they don’t have to pay the import taxes on full cars if they make them here. However, If I’m not mistaken, domestic cars get to make them in Mexico and Canada due to NAFTA (if that’s still in existence), so they get lower labor costs AND no import taxes. It is important to note though that there are still some US domestic car company assembly plants in the US (last I checked).

        *I haven’t actually looked into this for a long time, so it could no longer be true, however, even if it’s not, they still have the investment in the plants, so it might be cheaper to just keep using them than to move manufacturing off shore.

        • Cowboydroid

          Imports don’t use union labor, which is why their domestic manufacturing costs are lower.

          • rawr

            Shame Boeing didn’t move from Seattle after the union held them hostage. If you don’t like your pay or conditions, quit and find some place better.

          • Cowboydroid

            Charleston, South Carolina?

    • Robert Boluyt

      I didn’t buy a Moto X because I had already bought a One m7 that came out 2 or 3 months before. Moto had a great phone, but they delivered it to the market too late, everyone had already bought the S4 or m7.

      • n900mixalot

        Galaxy Note 2 for me … I tried it and the Moto X was like going back to the Galaxy Nexus … Some cool stuff but not worth it.

    • JoshGroff

      Sad to know those of us that did order it didn’t make a difference. :/

    • Cowboydroid

      You can thank those that artificially inflate costs through wage fixing for the closing of this plant.

    • meijin3

      That’s me :'(

    • Stone Cold

      Don’t blame the people blame Google /Motorola. Google knew that they were selling the unit off before the moto x even came out. The missteps in not releasing motomaker to everyone at the same time hurt them to.

  • gambit07

    Did I not call this when Lenovo took over?? Still, very sad to hear.

    • Bryan Mills

      Lenovo hasn’t taken over. Its all Moto.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        It’s possible that Motorola is looking ahead to the buyout. Since Lenovo has assembly plants in NC that they own and operate already, it would be laughable for them to keep the contracted plant in TX open without the sales to fully staff it.

        It is also entirely possible that they are completely abandoning the Motomaker concept, but that would seem somewhat unlikely given how much was invested in it. They haven’t even been operating for a full year yet; it seemed like they were in it for the long haul, knowing that the first year’s sales wouldn’t be spectacular.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Lenovo said they would consider keeping it open so long as it was profitable. Motorola has apparently decided on their own that the experiment as it currently is in the US has not worked. Alternatively, it could be in preparation for a move to one of Lenovo’s plants in NC in anticipation of the merger. Without a statement from Motorola, it is tough to tell what the consequences of this move are, assuming it is true, though that’s not a difficult leap.

  • Rashad

    Damn. That’s messed up! No more wood backs! A removable wood plate sounds cheap to me. No offense to the makers of the Toast plates.

  • hyperbeatser

    🙁

  • sc4fpse

    Incredibly sad for a long list of reasons. Thanks for the good run though, Moto. 🙁

  • Bryan Mills

    Murica! Where dreams die.

    • T_Dizzle

      As a 1st generation US American, you couldn’t be more wrong. I hope you were joking.

      • rawr

        Yeah, T_Dizzle couldn’t be named T_Dizzle when he lived in that 3rd world filth. Now, in ‘Murica, he can be named T_Dizzle or even D_Tizzle if he wanted!

        • T_Dizzle

          My father was a migrant worker and I have a great life thanks to his sacrifice, so yeah I’ll call myself whatever I want at this point.

    • MicroNix

      Did your gov’t tell you to post that or face lashings Mills?