Google is poised to spend around half a billion dollars on a promotional effort to sell the Moto X, the next smartphone coming out of its Motorola subsidiary, according to the Wall Street Journal. This isn’t a global push either–it’s just for the U.S., Europe, and “some” other overseas markets.
The Moto X was recently promoted by Google in an Independence Day ad touting the device as being “the first smartphone designed, engineered, and assembled in the USA.”
The Moto X is apparently designed to be eminently customizable, in a move Google thinks will appeal to customers who are limited by other smartphone makers’ control over design. This is a not-so-subtle dig at Apple, which is interesting given that the Wall Street Journal also notes Google is working to suppress the carrier-branded bloatware that typically ends up on top-rank Android phones–and this insistence on a pure design is very much an Apple idea.
Google’s spend on the Moto X may be indicative of its goal of wresting more control back over the Android market, which has become dominated by Samsung and its own interpretation of Google’s code. It’s also an attempt to rival the iPhone, which has achieved significant additional inroads into the U.S. market over recent months. But the Moto X will have to sell very well for Google to recoup the cost of promoting it–let alone engineering it.