Why won’t T-Mobile sell the Moto X?

Calling yesterday’s Moto X launch “unusual” might be an understatement. We didn’t see the kind of performance we usually expect from a product reveal like this, with speeches, stages, maybe even a live public stream – on the contrary, it was positively low-key by comparison. The way Motorola announced carrier support for the Moto X was weird, as well, sharing news of retail sales for AT&T, Sprint, US Cellular, and Verizon, but not for T-Mobile. What’s the deal there?

The official line from T-Mobile can be had from CMO Mike Sievert, who explains, “we do not plan to stock Moto X devices immediately in our stores but are working closely with Motorola to make the Moto X a great experience for T-Mobile customers. Any news about distribution in our stores would come at a later date.”

Why would T-Mobile show such a lack of interest in the Moto X? We’ve heard Motorola say “the Moto X is compatible with T-Mobile’s network,” and Sievert talked about “the Moto X optimized for T-Mobile’s 4G LTE.”

Out first thought was that they could be glossing over something here: namely, that the Moto X might not support T-Mobile’s AWS band for HSPA+. After all, if the Moto X only got T-Mobile LTE and maybe 1900MHz 3G coverage where the carrier’s made it available, that could easily explain T-Mobile’s hesitance to throw its full support behind the phone. Problem with that idea is that what sure looks like a Moto X with support for T-Mobile bands – including AWS 3G – hit the FCC days ago.

So, what, then? Maybe it’s a pricing issue, or something to do with T-Mobile’s new installment plan way of selling phones? Whatever the reason, we’re clearly not getting the whole story here.

Source: AllThingsD, FCC

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!