Will timing kill the Moto X Plus 1's release?
It’s been almost exactly one year since the release of Motorola’s Moto X, a phone that was so overhyped that it hardly stood a chance when the actual device, a phone with mediocre specs, was finally unveiled. Being that Motorola was, at the time, under Google’s wing, many speculated that this would be the smartphone to end all smartphones. As it turned out, on the surface the Moto X was about as cut and dry as you could get. It would take a couple of months for the real hype to start coming in when Motorola released Moto Maker and (probably most importantly) lowered the price of the device.
When you hear about the Moto X now, you can mostly find good things about it. Not only can you personalize this phone more than just about any other smartphone on the market with Moto Maker, but it’s also one of the cheaper full-priced phones as well - for any carrier. That’s not something that you see every day.
With it being a year old, it’s time for the next generation Moto X to make a debut. Motorola has already sent out invitations to its event on September 4th in Chicago. According to the graphics on the invitation, we can expect to see announcements of the Moto X+1, the next gen Moto G, the Moto 360 smartwatch, and what looks to be a Bluetooth headset type of deal. While this is all very exciting, I can’t help but feel a little apprehensive as this event is being held a mere 5 days before Apple’s rumored iPhone 6 event, which is allegedly supposed to happen on September 9th. Also, if this year is anything like last year, Samsung won’t be too far ahead or behind with the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. If either of these turn out to be true, I fear that the Moto X+1 might have another rough start to its sales.
I am only concerned about the Moto X+1, mostly because the Moto X was meant to compete with some higher end smartphones last year. The specs might not have been up to par, but the features of the phone made it a decent consideration amongst the competition. In the end, though, it would seem that specs hold a special place in consumer’s hearts. Anything less than the best can be a scary purchase when you’re putting down the same amount of money as some of the big name flagships like the HTC One or the Samsung Galaxy S phones. If the Moto X+1 isn’t able to deliver on specs again this year, it’s a very real possibility that the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S4 (not to mention possibly a Nexus 6) might drown this phone right out of the limelight. The Moto X+1 might have 5 good days or so, which is hardly enough time to generate that much interest.
I’m not as worried about the other products. The original Moto G did an excellent job making a name for itself, possibly even bigger than the higher end Moto X. With this phone being on the lower end of the spectrum and not directly competing with flagships, I have faith that the Moto G will do just fine on its own. The Moto 360 smartwatch might face some competition from Apple’s alleged smartwatch (a rumor at this point) but smartwatches are still so new that no manufacturer really stands out as being better than the others just yet.
It’s just the Moto X+1. I think Motorola would have fared better if they were able to release the phone sometime in July, or at least early August. That’s a pretty slow time for new releases since Apple switched its release from summer to fall, and I think that could have given Motorola the advantage it needed. Then again, maybe the Moto X+1 will surprise us with how well it measures up to competing smartphones. I’m looking forward to seeing what changes Motorola has made, but I would by lying if I didn’t say that the release date has me a little bit nervous about it all.