Moto X Price to Drop by $100, Wood Backs on the Way

Smartphone price drops are nothing new. In fact, they are pretty standard as a device gets outshined by newer arrivals on the scene. What’s not standard is when a new smartphone, one that still ranks as one of the best top-end options out there, gets a price cut, but that’s exactly what’s expected to happen to the Moto X price in the coming months. If the events play out as expected, these reports shine a light onto what may become a new strategy for high-end Android devices, and it’ll be interesting to see if Android’s main competitor, iOS, follows suit.

The New Price and Moto X Wood Backs

As detailed in this PhoneDog report, noted smartphone leaker @evleaks announced on Twitter that the Moto X smartphone will drop from $199 to $99, with a contract, in the fourth quarter. The event is still somewhat far away, but the leaker does have a history of positive intelligence in the smartphone market, so the rumor is already widely believed in the mobile press. No details of the exact date of the pricing change were given, but as the quarter approaches, expect more detailed news as the carriers prepare their signage and systems for the change.

One possible clue of the timing was evident in the rumor that the slick-looking wood backs for the device would also be available in the fourth quarter. These backs would add a $50 premium to the price of the phone, but that price may be right for those who really want a wooden look to their mobile device. It would not be surprising to see these two events happen at the same time, using the $100 price drop to offset some of the shock of the $50 premium for the new wood backs.

To have a phone drop significantly in price is common enough, but to have one that’s still relatively new and has been so well-reviewed see this kind of drop raises a few questions. Perhaps sales have not been as brisk as Google would have liked. Perhaps the phone was always supposed to be a loss leader for Android, but carriers didn’t want the phone priced so low on release. Possibly this is just a new pricing strategy that will play out with other top-end devices as well. If Google and the other manufacturers can generate enough income from digital media and other services, maybe pricing the device so low is a strategy designed to further Android’s market share dominance.

Is It Time to Upgrade Your Device?

If you’re running an older Android device or looking to pick one up, the Moto X certainly isn’t a bad option. The phone has all the power of a top-end device, coupled with an intelligent user experience that’s second to none. By most standards, the Moto X price was already spot on, so a $100 discount so early in the device’s life cycle makes it a tempting option.

Users looking to upgrade could easily turn in their current phone for most or all of the money required to purchase the X, making this deal almost a no-brainer. Still, the fourth quarter is when a plethora of new devices hit the market before the busy shopping season, so it remains to be seen if the Moto X will still be a top smartphone contender at that time. But even if it’s not, for $100 it’ll be one of the best options for frugal shoppers.

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