17 November 2013

Motorola reveals Moto G, low-cost smartphone

With Android now reigning as the dominant smartphone OS across the globe, it stands to reason that obviously a lot of people have Android smartphones. Unfortunately though, many countries are stuck with low-end Android devices that don’t do the platform justice at all. Some countries have the problem that better devices simply aren’t available in their country, but the largest problem is that phones are simply too expensive.

The US is one of the minority countries around the world that has a cell phone market based off of contracts. Many countries around the world have markets where cell phones are primarily bought off contract. When you buy that way, price becomes a bigger factor. And to go along with that, most countries around the world have a lower per capita income than the US. If it’s expensive to buy a $500 off contract phone in the US, then imagine how expensive it must be to buy that in developing countries like India and many of the Middle Eastern countries.

This week may have marked the start of something new, however. After many leaks, Motorola finally made the Moto G official. The Moto G is a new mid-range device from Motorola that aims to provide decent specs at an extremely low price. With features like a 4.5-inch 720p display, quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, and 2,070mAh battery, the Moto G doesn’t fit into the high-end market. But when you pair those specs with a $179 price tag for the 8GB model and $199 for the 16GB model, the entire package gets that much sweeter.

The Moto G isn’t catering to the high-end western markets. Instead, the targets are developing nations in parts of the world such as the Middle East. In places like these, the Moto G is going to quickly become popular for offering worthwhile specs, speedy updates, and that crucially low price tag.

The Moto G will still be sold in the US but we’re betting that it won’t be wildly popular here. In the land of iPhones and Galaxy S4s, most people won’t bother with a mid-range device like the Moto G, especially with it being sold off contract. But it will be noticed. It will cater to those who don’t have money to freely toss around. And it could even impact the rest of the market. If other manufacturers see that the Moto G’s low price is allowing it to sell more, then they’ll try to compete by building lower cost devices with better specs.

In reality, that’s half of the point of the Moto G. It’s influenced by Google in obvious ways. Motorola and Google are trying to change the market to offer better devices at reasonable off-contract prices. The latest entries in the Nexus family reflect this with high-end specs being sold for low off-contract prices. The same thing goes for Chrome OS devices that are (aside from the Chromebook Pixel) designed with budget friendliness in mind.

While this strategy takes time to work out, it can eventually bring great results. Results that will inevitably be seen with the Moto G. The Moto G is going to be the new go-to phone in developing nations. It’s going to be the new portal into Android for people in these nations.

Are you guys in agreement? Do you think that Motorola and Google are onto something with the Moto G? Or do you think that the Moto G is just going to fade into nonexistence? Comment away.


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