The Moto X will have a poor resale value


For the last several months, hardly a week has gone by without some rumor or leak detailing the elusive and mysterious Moto X.

Formerly known as the Motorola X phone (or XFON), the Moto X is now … unofficially official. A Motorola teaser surfaced last week, bearing the new and improved Motorola slogan: “Designed by you. Assembled in the USA.” The idea of a truly personalized phone swept across the Internet, drumming up immense hype for this smartphone that signifies the rebirth of Motorola.

Today, the hype for this unusual smartphone is still there. People are still thoroughly intrigued by personalization options and what that might actually mean. But as the device becomes closer to finally being made official, the sharp realization that the Moto X may not be the superphone we all were hoping for is setting in.

The personalization options are said to be a vast selection of color options – up to an alleged two dozen colors to choose from. It’s also been reported that Motorola will offer an engraving service, as well. And, if you’re feeling cheeky, you can opt to send Motorola a favorite picture so your phone will arrive on your doorstep with a preset wallpaper of your choosing. At least that’s what the rumors allege.

As mundane and boring as that may sound, however, there’s plenty of oomph left in this device. Although the theory of customizable specifications was always a little far-fetched, and simply having a broad choice in color is, well, not very exciting, there’s one rumor that piqued our interests.


The Moto X is rumored to come in plastic, wood, ceramic, metal, and fabric.

A choice in material.

Taylor Wimberly reported in a Google+ post that the Moto X may come in various materials alongside the standard plastic chassis. Users may have a choice in wood, metal, ceramic, and even fabric to break from the monotony of plastic.

And, over the weekend, a Rogers ad leaked, unveiling some details about the phone, such as its always-on listening capabilities. Taking a page from the Google Glass playbook, the Moto X will listen for commands, even from standby.

Point being, the Moto X isn’t rumored to have the greatest specifications to date. But it certainly strives to break from the beaten path – a totally hands-free experience, a broad choice in color and possibly material, and Motorola bringing its business back to the States.

It’s unlikely the Moto X will take from the likes of a powerhouse like the Galaxy S 4, but it has every chance to be a success. And it could potentially put Motorola back on the map. Maybe.

But if you’re the kind of person who likes to constantly buy and sell phones to keep up with the painfully short product cycles, you may want to steer clear of the Moto X, unless you plan to hang on to it. Personalization and being made assembled in the USA may come at a premium. We saw it with the Nexus Q by Google, a device severely limited in functionality and triple the price of similar, competing products.

No, the Moto X won’t be triple the price of your standard phone. But even if it comes at a similar or lower retail price as comparable phones, it could be a money pit for one, glaring reason: personalization.

moto-x-color-backsThink of it like trying to sell a used car. If there are only three or four color options out of the gate and you choose a fairly neutral color, your chances of reselling quickly are quite high. And, provided you take care of the car, its value will depreciate normally.

However, if you choose the same car in a wild color, the number prospective used car buyers looking for a bright or unusual color are likely to be few and far between. And say you decided to add your own touch to the car – tint the windows, drop the ride height, add a spoiler, and replace the stock emblems with custom logos. The resale value will certainly be affected. It is then a car catered to your specific tastes.

A personalized Moto X is effectively the smartphone version of the lowered, customized car. Its resale value, when made to your specs, are much lower than a generic phone. That’s the unfortunate side effect of awesome, customized products.

Considering the Moto X probably won’t be the hottest smartphone on the market at its launch, demand for a used Moto X probably won’t be very high to begin with. But good luck selling one with your nickname engraved on the back.

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About The Author
Taylor Martin
Based out of Charlotte, NC, Taylor Martin started writing about technology in 2009 while working in wireless retail. He has used BlackBerry off and on for over seven years, Android for nearly four years, iOS for three years, and has experimented with both webOS and Windows Phone. Taylor has reviewed countless smartphones and tablets, and doesn't go anywhere without a couple gadgets in his pockets or "nerd bag." In his free time, Taylor enjoys playing disc golf with friends, rock climbing, and playing video games. He also enjoys the occasional hockey game, and would do unspeakable things for some salmon nigiri. For more on Taylor Martin, checkout his Pocketnow Insider edition. | Google+