Google Drives $179 Moto G Nail into Apple’s Pricey $649 iPhone Coffin

Everybody deserves to be on the mobile Internet, and price shouldn’t stand in the way of anyone having a truly good smartphone to get them there. – Motorola blog post

Moto G Will Boost Android Share

Google’s Motorola unit drove a $179 pike into Apple’s pricey $649 iPhone coffin with the launch of its new Moto G smartphone.

The prices are for unlocked smartphones without those vexing two-year contracts with the carriers.

Moto G’s main claim to fame is that the device “delivers a premium experience for a third of the price of current high-end phones.”

If Moto G takes off, it could be another blow to Apple, which is bleeding market share for its pricey iPhones that start at $649 (non-contract, unlocked versions).

Motorola badly needs a big hit.

If consumers embrace the Moto G in a big way, it could give a badly needed boost to Motorola, which has been struggling financially. Motorola reported an operating loss of $248 million during the third quarter of 2013 compared to a loss of $192 million in the third quarter of 2012.

Besides the impact on Apple, the Moto G, if it lives up to expectations and the hype, could throw a big spanner in the works of carriers like AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. With an unlocked phone, U.S. customers are unlikely to stay loyal to a carrier and could easily defect to other carriers. Hey, that could even drive monthly service charges down.

Moto G Specs

* 4.5-inch HD display that goes edge-to-edge
* Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad core processor
* Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion, 2070 mAh battery with all-day battery life
* 5MP rear camera and 1.3MP front camera
* Android 4.3 Jellybean,  with a guaranteed upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat in early 2014
* Micro USB
* Curved back design with 19 customization options, including interchangeable Motorola Shells and Flip Shells in seven colors as well as Grip Shells in five colors

One drawback of the Moto G is lack of 4G LTE support. But I don’t see that as a big negative.

Moto G Availability

Moto G will debut in Brazil and parts of Europe this week.

Latin America, Europe, Canada and parts of Asia should get the device in a few weeks.

Expect to see Moto G in my two favorites India and U.S., and the Middle East in early January.

At launch, U.S. customers should be able to buy Moto G on, with no contract, no SIM lock and an unlockable bootloader for $179 with 8GB of storage and $199 for the 16GB version.

Moto G buyers will also get 50GB of extra storage on Google Drive (on top of the free 15GB storage) for two years.

Of course, Moto G will be available through various carriers and retailers.

While a lot of consumers in developed regions like North America and Western Europe might plump for the Moto G, I’m not sure if it’ll prove to be a hit in countries like India and China where $99 smartphones are popular.

Now if only I hadn’t got the iPhone 5s recently, I might have been tempted to give Moto G a shot.

6 Responses to "Google Drives $179 Moto G Nail into Apple’s Pricey $649 iPhone Coffin"

  1. Aswin_Kini   November 14, 2013 at 6:28 am

    The only reason that people buy Apple products is because they believe that the “i” in iMac, iPod, iShuffle, iPod, iPhone, and iPad stand for Innovation, Intelligence (Artifical Intelligence), and Integrity (Apple’s promise of Value for Money), but these were possible only when Steve Jobs was alive. Now, I guess customers will be ready to pay prices only if Apple comes up with another game-changing product…. But for that, they need somebody like Steve Jobs to inspire (Read “crack-the-whip”) them.

    I predict a slow, but steady decline for Apple with some occasional spikes in business due to launch of new products…

    Within the next 5 years, I see Apple losing the top 3 spot…. However, that purely depends on whether Tim Cook will be a good CEO or chooses to do a “Steve Ballmer” on Apple. Responds:

    There’s been talk of an Apple TV (as in TV set not the Apple TV set-top box that Apple already sells) and an iWatch.

    If they show up, it could give Apple a boost and compensate for declining share in smartphones & tablets.

  2. boopalanj   November 15, 2013 at 4:48 am

    Off topic.

    Reliance came up with an offer for iPhone 5S/5C. With almost no down payment, you can get an iPhone, and pay 2500 Rs every month for 24 months.

    I was about to think it was a fair deal, but they tied to this credit cards and EMIs. Read the link and the trick of making money 🙂

    I remember, ten years ago, Reliance introduced phones for Rs.500 (LG and Samsung handsets) with a monthly payment scheme, but they were not good at catching people. This time they are wide awake. Responds:

    Read the piece in your link.

    Good idea. I mean, to pay bonuses to employees of banks & Reliance. 😉

    I have already returned an iPhone 5s and got an exchange because of sound issues. Plus apps crash a lot more on iPhone 5s/iOS 7 than on my older iPhone 4. This morning, even the App Store app from Apple crashed on the iPhone 5s. I’ve never had the App Store crash on me ever.

    But the phone is fast.

    • rajesh jagetia   November 16, 2013 at 3:32 am

      I also purchased few months back MMX HD for 14K after I spoiled my HTC phone due to water and I have little to complain about. Of course, I dont bother much for brand and I choose based on my requirements.

      For instance, I faced much more problems with HTC than MMX (literally I didnt face any problem so far). Responds:

      Sweetie, since I’ve never owned an Android phone I’m curious to know if your phone ever got hit with a virus.

      I’ve heard over 95% of virus attacks on mobile phones happen on the Android platform.

      If your phone was hit with a malware/virus, how did you get rid of it? Did the virus wipe out your contacts, bookmarks, brick your phone or what else did it do?

      Do you use antivirus on the phone and if so does it slow down the phone? The reason I ask is I’m tempted to buy the new Moto G Android phone?

      • boopalanj   November 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm

        I have been using an android phone for over two and half years now.

        The phone has not got hit by a virus so far. As long as we are aware of what applications we are installing (and their sources / companies), what we are clicking at and what sites we are surfing through in internet, mostly we should be fine.

        Beware of Ajith fans a.k.a hidden hackers though.

        Although Google seems to remove the bad apps now and then, there may be some fake applications which try to sound and look legitimate (ex: Blackberry messenger apps)

        An antivirus tends to kill the battery soon, because it always runs in the background. Responds:


        There’s been a lot of noise in the media that Android is very vulnerable to malware.

        I’ve not got malware on my iOS phones so far but my apps have been crashing a lot lately.

  3. rajesh jagetia   November 17, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Exactly similar experience, so far my android phone is free from any virus. Of course, I do not install any third party application and before installing any application from Google play store, I go through its review comments which gives a good deal of information about the application. I have also installed Avast free anti virus and do not feel any significant lag in operation. Almost all popular android games run without any kind of lag.

    I work in a German MNC and all smart phones with the exception of two (one person has iphone but it was gifted to him by his brother in law living in US, another person has Nokia Lumia) in my company are android phones and these also have not been attacked by any virus so far to the best of my knowledge. Responds:


    With iPhone’s declining market share, Android is turning into a monopoly and that is a bad augury for users.

    • boopalanj   November 18, 2013 at 7:59 am

      Quite true on the possibility of android becoming a monopoly, but there will be others who start popping up now and then, although it will be long to capture a reasonable share of market.

      For ex., Responds:

      Sailfish, Jellyfish, Starfish etc are irrelevant and have no hope.

      Android is the shark (followed by iOS and to a tiny extent Windows).

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