Motorola ‘Continuing Its Assault’

WSJD is off to an inauspicious start, judging by this story by Rolfe Winkler on Motorola’s price cuts for the four-month-old Moto X:

Google Inc.’s Motorola Mobility unit dropped the price on its flagship smartphone Wednesday, continuing its assault on the high margins of its smartphone rivals.

In a blog post, the company said its Moto X with 16 gigabytes of memory would now cost $399 without a wireless contract for U.S. customers, down from $550. The company offered the Moto X for brief periods in December at $349, but the latest price drop isn’t a temporary promotion.

For one thing, they don’t link to the original blog post. What is this, a printed newspaper? For another, why buy into this spin that it’s an aggressive offensive move against Samsung and Apple? The more obvious explanation is that the Moto X has not been selling well, and they’re slashing the price in response.

If Apple had yesterday cut the price of the iPhone 5C by 25 percent, would the WSJD headline call it an assault on Apple’s rivals? The real story here is that Motorola, even as a Google subsidiary, continues to flounder to make a popular Android phone.

(And, no, this is nothing like the price cut of the original iPhone in 2007. For one thing, the original iPhone sold well at its original price, and faced supply shortages all summer long. For another, Apple had no experience making cell phones of any kind, nor iOS devices, when the original pricing was announced in January 2007. They were flying by the seat of their pants, and rather than announce no pricing at all in January, Apple instead announced a conservative price — one which, once production started smoothing out, they realized they could undercut.)

Thursday, 2 January 2014