Moto X Costs Less the Galaxy S4 > iPhone 5 With SG SIII Chips---

2013-08-28_Motorola-Moto-X_BOMThe Moto X is being touted as one of the only smartphones assembled in the United States, in Texas which makes it cost slightly more to make than the iPhone 5. In order to make a less expensive smartphone, Motorola takes a lower subsidy from the carriers and combined several processors that have been used on other devices and that are cheaper.

The total cost of materials of the Moto X amounts to $214, according to preliminary results from IHS Inc. and  $12 to manufacture with the total cost to produce the Moto X at $226.

At that price, the Moto X comes roughly in the middle of iPhone 5 16GB  ($207) and 16GB Samsung’s Galaxy S4 ($237).  The use of components that are already shipping in high volume allows Motorola to keep costs down. The MSM8960 Snapdragon S4 Pro Apps Processor appears to be a variant of the same part that has appeared in other devices, including the HTC One X, the Blackberry Z10 and the North American version of the Galaxy S III.

MotorolaMotoXPCBtopAin't Mo' Moto but Qualcomm

Motorola marketing says that its X8 Mobile Computing System is a system-on-chip (SoC) solution from Motorola featuring eight cores. However in the iHS teardown the X8 is not an SoC, and is not a Motorola chip. Rather, the X8 Mobile Computing System is a design architecture that spreads the eight cores across at least two integrated circuits—including the Qualcomm MSM8960 and a Texas Instruments digital signal processor/microcontroller.

The Moto X uses the same Motorola X8 mobile computing systems as the Droid mini/Ultra/MAXX .

Doesn't Cost That Much More to Be Assembled in USA

While the manufacturing expense of the Moto X is $3.50 to $4.00 more than these phones, the total cost to make Motorola’s smartphone is only 9 percent more than the iPhone 5—and about 5 percent less than the Galaxy S4.

"An examination of the retail and contract pricing indicates that Motorola receives carrier subsidies of slightly more than $300 per handset when purchased on contract, whereas Apple’s iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S4 command larger subsidies of more than $400 per contract,” aid Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS, “Therefore, Motorola is definitely vying to become the lower-cost alternative to Apple and Samsung for the wireless carrier partners.”

Qualcomm-made chips in the Moto X include the MSM8960 apps/baseband processor; the WTR1605L radio frequency (RF) transceiver; the WCD9310 audio codec; the PM8921 power management integrated circuit (IC); and the WCN3680 Bluetooth, frequency modulation and wireless local area network companion IC.

While most of the design was familiar, this was the first time that the WCN3680 was seen in a product torn down by IHS. This device supports the 802.11ac WLAN standard, which is in the initial acceptance stage, but soon will become the standard in smartphones.

The Moto X makes very efficient use of its battery by managing the power consumption of its apps processor and display.

Instead of taxing the apps processor for simple tasks like displaying notifications, the Moto X employs a secondary low-power contextual core to run the display when the phone is powered off.

Motorola-Moto-X_touchscreen_0The Moto X’s active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) display only lights up small portions of the 4.7-inch screen to display time and notifications like email, text and missed calls, extending the battery life to a 24-hour usable experience. The display is made by Samsung with a Sanaptics touch controller.  As with all AMOLED displays, each pixel illuminates and thus is inherently more energy efficient than LCDs, where the entire panel is illuminated.

New Software Features

The Moto X includes several features designed to enhance ergonomics including a rounded/curved backside with an indented index finger rest, makes the Moto X easier to hold and use.

The Moto X is the first smartphone to include an "always-on/listening" or "open-mic" front end to listen for commands from the owner's voice to activate Google Now operation.

The system also supports gesture-based interactions such as, a double-twist gesture will launch the Moto X’s camera application.

The Moto X with pic your own colors is currently available from AT&T. Black and White models will be sold on Verizon Wireless on August Thursday, August 29.

The Moto X also features a 2220 mAh battery, 10MP camera, front camera, 2GB RAM.