Reality check: Motorola won’t offer Moto X custom engraving at launch

August 20, 2013
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Motorola announced that it wouldn’t offer the engraving service to Moto X customer at launch, due to issues with quality control.

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Without doubt, one of the main selling points of the Moto X is the ability to customize the appearance of the device. Initially, AT&T customers will get to pick the main and accent colors of the Moto X, pick a custom wallpaper, as well as the color of the wall charger, using a web application called Moto Maker. The customization program will open to other carriers later in the year, with one report claiming that AT&T’s exclusivity on Moto Maker would extend until early November.

Another customization option that Motorola touted is custom engraving. Using Moto Maker, customers will be able to pick a custom text, like a name or an email address, to be printed on the rear of the Moto X.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HnTvmB44Cec

Initially, Motorola had planned to offer the engraving option at launch on August 23, but it seems that technical problems delayed the availability of the feature. As first reported by Computer World’s JR Raphael and later confirmed to The Verge by a company spokesperson, Motorola found that the quality of the engravings wasn’t satisfactory and decided to temporarily pull the plug on the feature.

Motorola “hopes to be able to sort out the problem and offer the feature in the near future”, suggesting that the problem is relatively minor.

This snag serves to highlight the technical and logistical issues that can arise when mass manufacturing is combined with user generated customization. To keep delivery times under four days, Motorola has already hired thousands of people to assemble the Moto X at a Fort Worth, TX facility.

The complexity that customization injects in the manufacturing chain could explain why Motorola chose to offer the customizable Moto X only to AT&T customers on August 23. Customers of other carriers will only get to choose from two options – black and white.

The problem may be compounded even more when novel materials such as wood are introduced in the future. Motorola promised several types of wood, while previous rumors mentioned metal, ceramic, and other materials down the path.

Comments

  • Luka Mlinar

    This whole idea was stupid from the ground up. This would have been one of the best phones of the year if they just offered some 10 color options and mass produced it with a reasonable price tag. Paying some extra 300$ bucks for the fact it’s made in the US and a bunch of childish color options i can’t really use in real life. I’ll be a happy camper when Dennis get’s fired.

    • T.J.

      What extra $300?

      • Luka Mlinar

        Phone retails in the stores for 699$ yet it’s worth 4 hundy.

        • T.J.

          Where does it say it’s worth $400?

          • Luka Mlinar

            I say it’s worth 400$. Common sense says it’s worth 400$.
            Dude i am not getting into an argument with you since you are always fishing for one here.

          • T.J.

            If you have proof, that’s all I’m looking for. I forgot you’re a Google/Motorola employee so you know how much it’s worth. Thanks for the enlightening.

          • EvenInTheDarkestHour

            It’s called looking at comps. A Snapdragon S4 Pro quad core with a 720 screen is worth about 350 (Nexus 4?). Step down to dual core, add in the specialized chips, the “Assembled in USA” sticker, and $400 is quite a reasonable consumer cost.

          • Luka Mlinar

            Hear, hear!

          • T.J.

            In case you didn’t notice, Google subsidized the cost of the Nexus 4. If you look at the price of it at T-Mobile, it’s closer to the price of the Moto X unsubsidized at one of the carriers.

          • EvenInTheDarkestHour

            It doesn’t matter “how” a device gets to market. Just that it is.
            What do you consider the thousands of millions in working capital Google put into Moto, with the result being the X? $=$, all same-same.
            No doubt after the pricing backlash, Moto will likely find face saving ways to reduce consumer costs…I see it nearly free on contract by the holidays.
            If a person sees the X as a “must have” then by all means, get one. It just doesn’t represent a value to me, considering the other offerings at the same price point.

          • T.J.

            To each their own. But if you compare the Moto X with the HTC One and the S4, I’d go with the Moto X. It just doesn’t make sense to me to have extra specs crammed into a phone (S4) if it’s still going to lag and the battery won’t last as long.
            The One is a better comparison with the Moto X but all the extra features in the X make it a better phone in my opinion.
            But like I said, to each their own.

  • Cristi13

    One of the most overhyped phones.

  • EvenInTheDarkestHour

    Any decent trophy shop will knock it out for you for about $5. Likely look better than the official version. And..you don’t have to be on AT&T to have it done.

    Think outside the box, life’s not a one-stop-shop.

  • xinxin87

    tinyurl.com/l3cselt

    vvvv

  • End in sight

    This might come as sad news for the 17 people waiting to buy this phone.