Tech Biz

Moto X: Wood Back Plates to Cost $50, Dev Edition Teased

Premium look will get a premium price tag, developer edition coming “in days.”

J.T. Quigley

Consumers interested in Google’s customizable new handset, the Moto X, may have been swayed by promotional images showing it with a one-off wooden back plate. Like a luxury car with a wood-grain dashboard, the wooden back plates will give the Moto X a more premium look than the standard colored-plastic backings than can be chosen at present. As should be expected, a premium-looking Moto X will come with a premium price tag – the wood options will add $50 to the handset’s price tag.

Droid Life took a deep look at the Moto Maker website – the platform for U.S. consumers to design their one-of-a-kind Moto X – and uncovered the premium price points for the four available wood finishes (which include teak, ebony, rosewood, and bamboo) hidden in the HTML code.

“In the pricing and option breakdown found currently on Motorola’s site, you’ll notice an on-contract pricing structure for phones listed that starts at $199 – but also includes price points of $249 and $299. You’ll also see the off-contract prices set at $579, $629, and $679. We know that the 16GB version of the phone is $199 on-contract and $579 off, while the 32GB is $249 on-contract and $629 off,” said Droid Life.

Droid Life continued: “Where the color choices of backs are listed, you’ll see items like Mint or Olive or Cement listed with at a price of ‘0.’ But if you continue looking for the wood options, which aren’t currently available, you’ll see a price of ‘50.’ This price is only next to the wood options and not attached to any of the standard colors.”

While not everyone will be enthusiastic about dropping an extra $50 for wood, the additional cost shouldn’t come as a surprise. Sourcing wood, cutting it to size, and treating it is likely to be much more expensive than the process for producing plastic backings.

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Yesterday, Google also teased a developer edition of the Moto X – featuring 32GB of storage, an unlockable  bootloader, and a two-tone black and white finish. It will also sport a “DEVELOPER EDITION” engraving on the back cover. No official availability date was posted, but Motorola’s U.S. website claims that it is “coming soon.”

Motorola Vice President Punit Soni also posted on his Google+ account that “Dev editions, other carrier versions rolling out in days” – likely to be appearing on the Google Play store.

J.T. Quigley
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J.T. Quigley

J.T. Quigley is an assistant editor at The Diplomat’s Tokyo bureau.

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