So much for that: Motorola Mobility to close Texas smartphone factory

“Google’s Motorola Mobility handset unit has announced it will shutter its North Texas factory, by the end of this year, barely a year after it opened with much fanfare as the first smartphone factory in the U.S.,” Emily Schmall reports for The Associated Press.

“Sales of its flagship phone, the Moto X, have been weak and the costs of running the plant too high to keep operations going, Motorola Mobility spokesman Will Moss said,” Schmall reports. “Even though the concept of the smartphone was pioneered in the U.S. and many phones have been designed here, the vast majority of phones are assembled in Asia. The Fort Worth factory has allowed Google to stamp the phone with “Made in the U.S.,” although assembly is just the last step in the manufacturing process, and accounts for relatively little of the cost of a smartphone. The cost largely lies in the chips, battery and display, most of which come from Asian factories.”

Schmall reports, “The Fort Worth factory employs about 700 workers who assemble the Moto X smartphones for the U.S. market, Moss said. He declined to comment on whether Motorola would retain the workers. Google bought cellphone pioneer Motorola Mobility for $12.4 billion in 2012. Originally retailing the Moto X for $600, amid flagging sales, Google dropped the price to $399. Still, only a fraction of the units were sold compared to the Apple iPhone.”

Read more in the full article here.

“At its peak late last year, the plant employed as many as 3,800 people, most on behalf of contract manufacturer Flextronics International Ltd.,” Rolfe Winkler reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Market researcher Strategy Analytics said Motorola sold 900,000 Moto X smartphones world-wide in the first quarter. By comparison, Apple Inc. sold 26 million units of its newest iPhone 5S in the same period. ‘What we found was that the North American market was exceptionally tough,’ Motorola President Rick Osterloh said in an interview. The Moto X sold for $600, without a contract, when it went on sale in September, though Google subsequently lowered the price to $399. Apple’s latest iPhone sells for $650 without a contract on the website of AT&T Wireless.”

“The plant-closing announcement comes four months after Google said it agreed to sell the Motorola handset business to Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd. for $2.9 billion. That deal is expected to close later this year, according to the Motorola spokesman. Mr. Osterloh said the decision to close the plant was independent of the planned sal,” Winkler reports. “The spokesman said Motorola will continue making the Moto X in China and Brazil, among other places.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ignominious failure.

Related articles:
Why everyone was wrong: Apple’s iPhone 5c ate up Android while Google’s Moto X flopped – April 26, 2014
Google sells beleaguered Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion – January 29, 2014
Google’s Motorola Mobility burning cash with increasing rapidity – October 17, 2013
Google’s Moto X no ‘iPhone killer,’ say reviewers – August 7, 2013
Moto X: ‘If this is the best product that Google can come up with, it has failed’ – August 6, 2013
Google’s ‘Moto X’ enters crowded smartphone market – August 1, 2013
Google to spend up to half a billion dollars to advertise ‘Moto X’ Android phone – July 11, 2013
Google cuts 1,200 more Motorola Mobility jobs – March 8, 2013
Google to axe 4,000 employees at Motorola Mobility division – August 13, 2012
Apple CFO Oppenheimer says Google spent ‘a lot of money’ on Motorola Mobility – August 17, 2011
Google to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion to bolster patent portfolio – August 15, 2011
Beleaguered Motorola’s CEO Zander out; ‘plans to spend more time with his family’ – November 30, 2007


  1. Google could not even bring itself to sell Moto’s phones under the Google brand. Instead, Google sold phones made by LG using the Nexus name. With that kind of support from the parent company, it’s not surprising that Moto X failed to sell enough units to keep that factory open.

  2. And one wonders why Google hypes its glory products like driverless cars, robotics and geek glasses. Hey always easier to boast about things that don’t operate in a true market place as opposed to abject failures that do.

    1. So true. driverless cars, and package delivery drones…

      Google isn’t the only company that keeps the stock price up by throwing away money.

  3. Originally retailing the Moto X for $600, amid flagging sales, Google dropped the price to $399. Still, only a fraction of the units were sold compared to the Apple iPhone.”

    Such is Google. The GOOG bubble grows thinner…

  4. Having grown up near Ft. Worth, I hate to see people lose their jobs, especially when the fsckers who ought to be losing theirs are named Schmidt, Brin, and Page.

  5. I wonder how much taxpayer money was used to incentivize MM to locate that assembly plant in Texas? So much for not picking winners and losers, Governor Perry and company.

    1. Right! He should have said ‘no way, muthu-fsckers, you don’t have a chance!!!!’

      Yeah, that’s what I want politicians doing. Picking winners and losers in the free market.

      Do you have a clue?
      (never mind that the infrastructure for someone like, oh, APPLE to come in and buy it is still a chance. Besides, the tax money is usually in credits, so what harm was done? Construction jobs, vendor jobs, real estate speculation. Please, give us your economic incentive forecast….the entire country is in need thanks to your party’s philosophy)

      1. TT, you don’t understand that the state of Texas has a large fund of taxpayer money that it uses to bribe businesses. Whatever. My point is that hypocrisy rules and that both parties and many politicians in federal, state, and local governments are using our tax money for their own purposes, often with less than favorable results for the taxpayer. The hypocrisy in question is the “picking of winners and losers” comment that the GOP frequently employs in their attempts to discredit the Democrats and the current Administration.

        I have hypocrisy and Perry’s holier than thou attitude masks a lot of it.

        1. Your point is moot because funds were not used.
          Of course, that never stops some people from running their mouths.

          BTW, I’m from Texas, even though I moved 7 years ago, so I probably have a better perspective on what is going on there than you think.

      2. By the way, sarcastic asshole, I don’t have a party. I happen to think for myself and neither party fully addresses my concerns. The Dems are too free-spending and take some of their causes to illogical extremes. The Reps are too free-spending (but with different priorities) and are also anti-science and anti-environment. The Tea Party is too rigid and uncompromising and is also far too willing to shut down the government to make a point. None of them have been very effective.

        1. I don’t have a party either. Big whoop. I’m a Conservative, so I generally vote Republican, especially in federal elections.

          I have voted for many, many State and local Democrats, so again your point is moot.

          As far as ‘thinking for yourself’, that gives two implications. One, that most people can’t or don’t and two that you have to agree with everything a party does to vote with it. Neither are true. I agree with the Republican platform, even though many of them don’t vote with it once elected for lobbying reasons or because they need to cut a deal with a Democrat to settle an issue. One of those is acceptable on occasion, the other never is.

          BTW, your ‘anti-science and anti-environment’ comment is childish, and shows that you don’t seriously ‘think for yourself’ but go with the agenda set by uber-leftist to argue any point (although you forgot racist and homophobic).

          Again, this thread was started because in your rush to ‘think for yourself’ you were lazy and went with the knee-jerk liberal view of how dumb Texans are and that somehow, our Republicans are more corrupt than other states Democrats just because its economy survived (despite Obama’s attempts to ruin it).

  6. @Texas Hypocrisy

    You are absolutely right. I am sure there was much fanfare about all the “new” jobs in Texas and how these jobs, proved how “non-interference” from those guvment types showed how jobs could be created and riches would trickle down on the rest of us…. if only the rich could be free from the yoke of the oppression of us “takers”.

    I wonder how much Dell will ultimately write off on any losses related to this wholesale example of corporate welfare.

    1. As you are probably sure that polar bears are near extinction, New York will become the Venice of the West, and all southern White Christians are racist.

      For those that won’t click, Flextronics retrofitted an existing factory built by Nokia, didn’t use public funding, and tried to manufacture something that ended up with no market.

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