No Moto X news for Australia



blog So you probably caught the news overnight that Google subsidiary Motorola has finally unveiled its new superphone, the Moto X, and you’re likely pretty excited about this. And why not? With specs similar to other top of the range Android models such as the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, plus a bevy of other enhancements such as support for radical customisability of the unit’s materials, the Moto X is looking like a winner. However, as you’ll read in Motorola’s official press release, initially there are no plans to bring the device to Australia:

“Moto X will be available in the US, Canada and Latin America starting in late August/early September.”

Ausdroid has also queried the local branch of Motorola, but gotten a similar null answer from the company … “We’ll be sure to update you as soon as we have more to share”. Wonderful — how enlightening. Engadget offers a little more in terms of optimism. “Motorola hasn’t detailed global availability, but the device is expected to launch in several other countries soon, albeit without customization options and Texas assembly,” the blog reports. Well, it’s hardly surprising.

On the face of it, you’d have to say that by not launching in Australia initially, when Australians have already had access to awesome models from companies like HTC and Samsung (not to mention the iPhone), Motorola has left itself out of the loop here. However, there’s also a bigger picture with the Moto X. The radical customisation which Motorola is allowing with the phone (you can choose literally hundreds of colour combinations for the phone (as detailed in this video by the Verge) means that the Moto X has a level of hardware customisation which other models do not. Think something like the excellent Nexus 4, with close to stock Android, but customised in precisely the colours and even the materials which you personally desire. That’s something other models do not offer.

The problem is, this level of customisation is being driven by a Motorola manufacturing facility in Texas, so that the company can quickly ship devices to its customers (this is likely why the device’s availability will initially be limited to the Americas). In terms of Australia, this presents Motorola with a huge problem. If you order a Moto X in Australia with certain colours, how long will the phone take to arrive from Texas? Because, as sure as hell, the company will not be building a new assembly facility locally. We suspect Motorola may end up offering only limited colour customisation in Australia, probably along certain standard lines, meaning much of the model’s appeal will vanish to Australians, and maintaining the appeal of alternative options.

In any case, it looks like the Moto X will be an excellent model, and we’re sure it will come to Australia eventually in some fashion — formally through a telco or through a back channel retailer like Mobicity. We’re excited to get our hands on one to put it through its paces :)

Image credit: Motorola Mobility


  1. And for those of us that play the Google Ingress game in Australia there is a double problem as Google/Niantic has seen fit to offer special in game items only to Moto X users.

  2. This is pretty much in keeping with Motorola’s past approach to phone releases – in their post Razr era they’ve been much more focused on the American market than other manufacturers and have even gone so far as to actively reduce their presence in Asia and Latin America. It’s a risky play since it’s the manufacturers that have a global brand are consistently doing better. For all its troubles, Nokia’s managing to keep its head above water thanks to its brand cachet in Europe and India, Sony’s effectively using its name recognition to make money from smartphones and Samsung could probably keep turning a (much reduced) profit even if they never sold a phone in North America again.

  3. I agree with David’s video at The Verge. I’m quite torn over my personal thoughts on the MotoX. On one hand its specs are a little bit “meh” given its using a a generation old dual-core snapdragon processor , it has a 720p non-RGB-layout AMOLED display of reportedly average quality (although AMOLED does have the benefit of being able to light up a portion of the lockscreen of course), the camera seems pretty basic, and perhaps most surprisingly for a Google owned company – its not even running Android 4.3 at launch (which is a mildly concerning sign for the timeliness of future updates). I I know a lot of this was to be expected given the price point, and market they are aiming for, but I’d personally feel a little reluctant buying a reasonably expensive phone with mid range specs.

    However on the design side of things, and with usability consideration given to things like “true 24 hour battery life” and quick glance notifications on the lock screen, the MotoX is a different story altogether. Not only is it one of the best looking Android phones I’ve seen, but it looks like the perfect size for one handed operation, and the fact its available in a plethora of different colour configurations make it even more personalised and awesome (as Renai noted that benefit may be lost to Australian consumers though). The other thing is if the battery is even half as good as Motorola claims, it will be quite an achievement.

    The HTC One has probably come the closet yet to being the nicest designed Android phone I would buy, but its battery is average, its button layout is a little annoying, and its giant body makes it a difficult phone for me to operate one handed. The same size 4.7″ display on the Motox, but with that tiny bezel looks like it could be the perfect balance between form and function. I’m looking forward to checking it out whenever it gets to Australia.

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