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.