Get A Glimpse Inside The Motorola Moto X Factory With Google Street View

Google has taken its Street View cameras into the U.S. Motorola phone factory so you can see where the Moto X handset is made—expensively.

In a blog post, Motorola notes that "there are 150 million smartphones in the U.S.A. Until Moto X not one of them was made here," and that's why it's thrown open the doors of Motorola's Moto X factory in Fort Worth, Texas, to Google's 3-D imaging camera systems, so American Street View fans can all revel in some slightly odd patriotism.

The post goes on to explain: "Conventional wisdom said it wasn’t possible. Experts said that costs are too high in the US; that the US has lost its manufacturing capability; and that the US labor force is too inflexible. And it’s true that most manufacturing in the consumer electronics industry moved offshore over a decade ago." These are commonly expressed opinions, but Motorola disagrees, emphasizing that, "it’s not that much more expensive to make a phone here than in Asia."

A new report at Reuters calls that statement into question because, according to some investigations into the matter, producing the Moto X in Texas actually costs three times as much in labor costs than it would in China. While lower shipping costs and some simplified logistics will account for savings to offset a portion of this extra cost, it's still a reminder that producing a phone in America is complicated. Google had previously made a big play of the fact its Nexus Q media playing device was made in the U.S., but has since withdrawn the product.

[Image via Flickr user: Stefanos Kofopoulos]

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  • tommariner

    How exactly do you think that the Far East learned to build electronic stuff? It takes continuous innovation in product and process and clear, agile logistics. The bubble heads running our companies only cared about next week's bonus and sent our know-how over there along with our products with the siren call "Its cheaper!" primarily because they paid low waages. The same thing happened in Korea -- then their workers decided that the managers were driving Rolls Royces while they lived in hovels. Their hours were reduced and pay increased and now we have KIA, Hyundai, Samsung, et. al.

    Guess what? With the increased fuel costs and the quick-turn agility needed to keep up, the factory is going to be near where the management is and where the money stays. If we don't do a Moto X here, very soon we won't be able to afford them anyway -- while the folks we used to increase our retired CEO's bonus can buy the phones and cars and vacations.

    Yes, we ought to give preference and if needed pay more for Made in USA -- believe it or not, they do in China!