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July 2, 2013

Moto X - Designed by You, Assembled in the USA

Moto X is no longer a rumor, Motorola's CEO announced it in May. "Moto X will be built in a 500,000-square-foot facility outside of Fort Worth, Texas, that was previously used to build Nokia phones. Seventy percent of manufacturing will take place there, making this the first smartphone built within the United States, Woodside said. However, the processors are from Taiwan and the OLED screens are from Korea." It's surprising to see a CEO that reveals so many details about a new phone before it's launched.

AdAge reports that Motorola will run a full-page ad "in the July 3 editions of The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post". The ad announces the "first smartphone designed, engineered and assembled in the USA" and "the first smartphone that you can design yourself".

Motorola has a new logo, is now "a Google company" and has bold ambitions. "We're not just any company," says the ad. Once a mobile phone pioneer, Motorola lost market share and was saved from bankruptcy by Android and Google. Now Motorola tries to bring back innovation and go back to the roots.

"Smartphones are very different than other tech products a consumer owns," says Brian Wallace, Motorola VP. "They're closer to shoes or a watch. You carry it with you everywhere you go. Everyone sees what phone you're carrying and they judge you on it. Yet it's the one thing you carry that's the least customizable." Well, you can always buy a case.

The trouble with assembling phones in the US is that it's expensive and most components are made in Asia. The new Motorola tries to change that. "Marry big science with a good application and you have something. When you take on a really bold vision you yield good results more often," says Regina Dugan, a former DARPA director who now works at Motorola.

{ Thanks, Florian K. }

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