Motorola assembling 100k Moto X phones in Texas weekly
The first big phone from Google's Motorola is made in America, but not in the same quantities as the iPhone or Galaxy S4 (so far). Crave's Eric Mack swings by the Moto X factory in Fort Worth.
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Motorola is custom-assembling 100,000 Moto X Android phones each week in its Texas factory here, according to Mike McNamara, CEO of Flextronics, the contract manufacturer that runs the facility.
At the official opening for the factory on Tuesday, McNamara told a crowd of reporters, employees, and guests that included Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Texas Governor Rick Perry, that production of the Moto X began in earnest at the facility on August 6 and has ramped up to 100,000 units of the customizable smartphone per week.
Motorola claims the Moto X is the first smartphone ever to be assembled in the United States. The company began taking orders for the phone, which can be customized online or at certain carrier store kiosks, last month with the pledge to turn around and deliver those custom Android phones in just four days for U.S. customers.
I spoke with McNamara after the event to clarify exactly how many Moto X units have been assembled in the Fort Worth factory, which employs more than 2,000 people in a space used to make Nokia cell phones many years ago. He told me the plant quickly ramped up after August 6, hitting its first 100,000 phone week after just three weeks.
That means we could be looking at around a quarter million Moto X phones or more shipped so far. AT&T was the first carrier to begin offering the Moto X about two and half weeks ago.
McNamara says he's never heard of a similar operation being able to ramp up so quickly. Of course, it's a figure that pales in comparison to the millions of phones that Samsung and Apple have sold in the month following the launch of their flagship phones in the past year.
The iPhone 5 sold in the millions in its first weekend... in alone.sold 10 million units less than a month after launching, and the
McNamara points out that there's plenty of room for the Moto X operation to expand. The factory floor was half empty on the day of my visit (see a gallery of my tour above).
Update, 4:57 p.m. PT: Motorola contacted CNET to say McNamara misspoke about the duration of the ramp-up. It took place over three weeks.