What do you expect to pay for a smartphone? £400? £500? £700? How about £135? The Motorola Moto G smartphone costs less than a TV licence or train tickets foolishly bought on the day of travel, yet it could alter the smartphone landscape forever.
Despite this low price tag the phone boasts some seriously impressive specifications, with a 4.5in 720p display, a quad-core processor, a 5MP camera and a weight of just 143g. All this helped the Moto G score a coveted five-star review too.
The device marks a return to form for Motorola. For years the firm appeared a spent force in the mobile market, and when Google picked up the unit in 2011 for a cool $12.5bn it seemed it had only done so for its patents, although their worth has since been called into question.
But making mobile phones is in Motorola's DNA – it gave us the first ever mobile phone after all – and while the likes of Apple and Samsung have left it (and many others) standing as they dominate the market, things could be about to change.
Producing a phone with such a low price will have turned the heads of all the mobile manufacturers, as they all start to recognise the need to widen their portfolios and enter new markets where lower price points are a must.
Apple is moving in this direction with its plastic iPhone 5C (it might not be cheap yet, but watch its price fall over time), while investors are concerned Samsung's high-end device sales are stagnating because of stronger demand for cheap devices.
Of course, the easy criticism to level at Motorola is that it is producing the device at cost – losing money on the units in order to get people into the Android ecosystem – but chief executive Dennis Woodside claims the firm will make a profit on each unit sold.
No doubt a few executives at the firm's rivals will be scratching their heads, wondering how they could do that. As you'd imagine firms such as Samsung and Nokia have been working like mad to try and make device production as cheap as possible.
Given that most smartphones still cost around £400 or above, it’s probably fair to assume that many have struggled to get the overall manufacturing costs below £150. So, again, for Motorola to sell the device for £139 seems remarkable.
Motorola may not have quite the same brand strength as Apple and Samsung, but for many – in both emerging nations and the West – a phone that boasts some serious specs at such a low price will negate any brand differences.
What's more, it will make others start to question why other devices with broadly similar specifications cost so much more. After all, wouldn't you rather save £200-300 and be able to afford a train ticket home for Christmas?
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