Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) will reportedly spend upwards of $500 million in marketing for the Moto X, the first smartphone to be released by Motorola Mobility device unit since it was acquired by Google for $12.5 billion last year. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, citing unidentified sources close to the matter, that $500 million in marketing support is attractive to U.S. operators and all four major U.S. carriers are expected to launch the device this fall.
Google's planned marketing budget, plus the carrier support for the device, is cause for concern from competitors, particularly Samsung, which has had success with its Google Android-based smartphones. The Moto X will likely compete this fall with Apple's next-generation iPhone as well as Samsung's Galaxy S4 and HTC's Android-powered One.
According to research firm comScore, Apple is the leading smartphone manufacturer in the United States, with a 39.2 percent market share in May. Samsung follows with a 23 percent share. Motorola is in the No. 4 position with 7.8 percent of the market, a decline from the 8.4 percent it commanded in February.
Sources also said that Motorola has been able to reduce the amount of apps and software that carriers pre-install on devices, which often irks customers. Carriers say the pre-installed software and apps are necessary to help customers in the discovery process. In addition, the company is touting customers' ability to customize the phone but has not provided any specifics.
Motorola, however, has already embarked on the advertising campaign for the device, which will be assembled in a plant in Ft. Worth, Texas. In fact, just last week Motorola started running an ad campaign for the phone with the tagline: "Designed by you. Assembled in the USA."
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
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