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Moto X teardown reveals the build cost: $221

The Moto X has been slated as overpriced and build with last generation’s technology and a new teardown has revealed it costs Motorola $221 per unit to make the Moto X.

This has got to be taken with lots of consideration and understanding, especially considering almost no phone costs over $250 to manufacturer and assemble, a report last year said the iPhone 5 cost $112 to manufacturer.

The Moto X does get assembled in the US, but it gets this money back from not dealing with Asian and European countries. Shipping charges do not apply to the Moto X and this should bring it about level in the cost issue.

The teardown reveals all the parts and prices:

  • $28 – Qualcomm dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro
  • $43 – WiFi, Bluetooth, cellular, LTE, audio and power management chips all from Qualcomm
  • $5  – Texas Instruments contextual computing and natural language processing chips
  • $64.50 – 4.65-inch Samsung AMOLED display and display chips to run
  • $12 – US manufacturing cost per unit ($4 – 5 higher than Asian manufacturing prices)

We also have to remember the camera, accelerometer and gyroscope and microphone, all supplied from smaller manufacturers.

Overall, Samsung and Qualcomm take a big chunk of the pie. Many forget about how Samsung makes a lot of their money, through supplying their competitors. Samsung may be in a bad state with Apple, but they still sell millions of displays to the company.

Texas Instruments have given up on the mobile processing business, but it seems the company is still working on different chips for the X8 Motorola system. The last time we heard TI in the mobile industry was when they supplied Amazon Kindle.

If Google had of made this a Nexus device, sold it on the Google Play store and kept it off contract, it is possible we would have seen a $299 off contract smartphone and we may see it with the new Nexus device, reportedly coming sometime in Q4 2013.

Motorola wanted to go down the route of carriers and it may have been for the better, considering the US is still sunk into the carrier market. The best way to get a phone noticed is for it to be on all four major carriers.


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