Emerging Technology

Google’s US factory now pumping out 100,000 Moto X smartphones per week

Andrew Sadauskas /

Google’s factory in Fort Worth, Texas has hit a production volume of 100,000 Moto X smartphones per week.

Earlier this week, the chief executive of Google’s Motorola Mobility smartphone manufacturing division, Dennis Woodside, officially opened the factory, which is operated by contract manufacturing firm Flextronics.

“Producing Moto X locally helps bring innovation back home, which is essential to the economic health of the US. It provides jobs and helps maintain technical skills that would otherwise be lost,” Woodside says.

“Conventional wisdom said it wasn’t possible. Experts said that costs are too high in the US, that the US has lost its manufacturing capability, and that the US labour force is too inflexible. And it’s true that most manufacturing in the consumer electronics industry moved offshore over a decade ago.”

“But we quickly realised that it’s not economics that prevents consumer electronics companies from making things locally. It’s lack of imagination and vision.”

Reuters reports the factory’s output is at 100,000 units per year, and while the facility was capable of producing millions of units, volumes would have to depend on consumer demand.

“When you set up to ramp a factory you need a plan, and we have shipment targets we need to make with our carrier partners, and where we need to be right now is 100,000 units and that’s where we are,” Woodside says.

In the US, Moto X customers can go onto a website called Moto Maker where they are able to choose a colour for the front and back, a second colour for accented features (for example, the edge of the camera), the amount of memory (16 or 32 gigabytes) and the default wallpaper.

Upon a user choosing their design, the phone will be custom-assembled at a factory within the US, with Google promising to ship the completed devices out within days.

However, overseas customers and users on a carrier that does not support Moto Maker customisation will have a choice between a standard ‘woven white’ or ‘woven black’ model.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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