It may not be the stratospheric shipping totals that we are accustomed to seeing with Samsung’s flagships, but according to Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside 100,000 Moto Xs a week are exactly where they need to be right now to meet their carrier demands. According to Woodside, the facility is capable of ramping up to produce tens of millions of devices a year. Hopefully that will be called for in the future.
It should be noted that the 100,000 figure is for units shipped, not for units sold. That “one million Moto Xs sold” post may not be coming too quickly. No confirmation on the percentage of the shipments that are customized beyond saying they are “substantial.” The ability to customize and ship to the consumer rapidly is, of course, one of the arguments for producing the phones in the US and also would tip their hand a bit on actual sales numbers.
The CEO of Flextronics, the company that operates the factory, in a separate interview reminded us of the added costs associated with producing these phones in the US rather than China; workers are paid approximately $12-14 an hour versus the roughly $4 an hour that their Chinese counterparts are paid. Although there’s certainly more to the production costs than just labor, these figures would seem to make the previous estimate of only a $4-5 premium associated with producing the phones in the US unlikely.
For its part, Motorola just says that it’s not that much more expensive to produce the phones here and that the benefits both from having the designers near those producing the phones and the benefit to the American economy is worth the trade off. Whether you believe that it’s a real sentiment or not, they have so far brought 2,000 jobs to the Fort Worth area. So, it is having a tangible positive effect for those people anyway.
If you’ve found yourself wondering what the inside of the Moto X factory looks like, the suspense can finally end for you. Google has courteously mapped it out on Street View. Check out below.
While I believe that the other benefits of producing the phone in the US are real, there is little doubt that Motorola is banking on consumers in the US caring that their phone is being assembled here. How much weight does that carry with you in making your next smartphone purchase?