Despite the massive marketing budget behind it, Motorola's new Moto X has flopped. Android consumers enamored of Samsung and LG devices gave Motorola's customizable cases a pass, and now Motorola is set to focus on the emerging markets where smartphone growth is still strong.
The Wall Street Journal this week reported that Motorola will unveil a low-cost smartphone on Wednesday. The report cites unnamed "people familiar with the matter" as stating that the "Moto G" will be priced at less than $250 off-contract in the U.S.
Other than the impending announcement and possible price range, not much is known about the Moto G. To reach the proposed price range, Motorola will have to also cut down the device's hardware from that seen in the Moto X. The Moto G is currently rumored to have a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, a smaller 4.5-inch screen with 1280 x 720 resolution, and a 5MP rear camera.
Though the device may be sole in established smartphone markets such as the U.S. and Europe, the Moto G is almost certainly aimed at emerging markets such as China, India, and Brazil, where analysts believe most of the industry's growth will happen from in the coming years. Motorola's own marketing tease for the Moto G emphasizes a globe and many different world locations.
The news comes just as the dust from the Moto X's release has settled. The Journal cites market research firm Strategy Analytics's figures showing that only 500,000 Moto X smartphones have been sold since its release nearly three months ago. These shipment numbers represent a 50% drop in year-over-year shipments for Motorola during the third quarter of 2013. The firm predicts that Motorola will sell only 1 million Moto X's during this year's holiday quarter.