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Google had previously made a big play of the fact its Nexus Q media playing device was made in the U.S., but has since withdrawn the product.