Can Motorola make it to the front of the Android army?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Now that Motorola's hero device, the Moto X, has been available for a little while now, and is no longer secluded to just one carrier, more people have had the ability and option to buy it. Back at the beginning of August, I laid out the question plainly: Are you going to buy the Moto X? A lot of the comments went back and forth, and there were obviously good reasons why, or why not, someone might pick up Motorola's flagship device for 2013.
There are good reasons to buy or not buy any phone out there, so it shouldn't be a surprise that it's any different just because it's a Motorola-branded device. But this really is the first handset from Motorola after they were purchased from Google to represent what that deal was supposed to mean. This isn't a DROID handset headed for Verizon. This was supposed to be the device that put Motorola back on the map outside of Verizon.
Did that happen? I'm not sure that it did.
Which is an odd thing, at least in my eyes, considering the Moto X saw plenty of high praise when it eventually landed in the hands of people in the space to talk about such things. The size, the speed, the features buried inside, and even the overall look and feel of the device were all given high marks, despite its obvious mid-range specifications list.
Not so much positive material was used for the Moto X's camera, mind you, but a negative mark in that "sea" of positives couldn't have driven everyone away, could it? What's more, the longer the Moto X has been available, the more positive feedback about the device I've seen. My Twitter feed usually has someone out there saying something positive about the Moto X, and how they plan on keeping it over other devices.
I've reiterated that I think the Moto X is too expensive, and thankfully that's not really the case in most places you can pick up the device these days. It's seen a price drop through the Moto Maker site, as well as through some carriers, and we'll probably see others follow suit that haven't already.
With a price drop, could this be the move that Motorola has been waiting for? The trigger that gets so many other people on board with their flagship device? More to the point, is the Moto X a good enough device, with a price tag that matches the components inside, to propel Motorola to the front of the Android pack?
I'm not necessarily saying that Motorola has to strive to usurp Samsung from its top spot, but that would probably be the best position to be in. Right now, Motorola's presence as "a Google company" leaves a lot of people scratching their heads. Some people see the connection, the acquisition or partnership, a move that could easily make Motorola the leading manufacturer of Android smartphones. Instead, they opted to release a mid-range device that many thought didn't hold a candle to the high-end offerings already on the market, or that were coming down the pipe.
As I said though, the Moto X saw plenty of praise despite not being the best high-end device to hit the market in any one particular month. So is that really all that's missing? If Motorola were to launch another member of the Moto X family, one with the same look, customization, but only with updated specifications in the processor, RAM, camera, memory, and even the display, would that make for a killer device? Would that be the handset people would rush out to get?
I can't help but be intrigued by the question. Motorola is a company just waiting to capitalize on something, but what that is is still up in the air. Maybe we'll see it next year, when they release a successor to the Moto X, or maybe create something else entirely. They're certainly on the right path for customer customization, that's for sure.
What do you think? Could Motorola make a comeback, or whatever you'd like to call it, even in the aggressive Android market? Can Motorola compete against the likes of LG or HTC? Let me know what you think Motorola needs to do to really get back into the race.