This week Motorola tried to offer unlocked Moto X smartphones for $150 off on Monday… and the company’s servers couldn’t keep up with the demand. So the company took a different approach and offered a limited number $150 off vouchers on a first-come, first-served basis Wednesday.

CEO Dennis Woodside says the company gave out tens of thousands of those vouchers in a matter of 4 minutes, before running out.

“There’s clearly demand for devices that are not tied to a contract, at prices that are reasonable,” he told YouTube tech reviewer Maruqes Brownlee during a live interview today.


Motorola will offer a limited number of $150-off coupons again on Monday, 12/9/2013 — but they’ll probably go quickly as well.

Up until recently, most American smartphone buyers have primarily purchased phones that are tied to a 2-year service contract from a wireless carrier. But there are a growing number of ways to buy a phone and use it with a pre-paid, or no-contract plan that can save money in the long run.

You typically have to pay full-price for a phone up front to do that, but if you can afford to buy a Nexus 5, Moto X, or other contract-free phone you’ll end up spending a lot less money over the course of a few years than you would if you were locked into a high-priced contract.

Woodside points to AT&T, which recently announced plans that let customers save $15 per month if they pay for a phone up front. The Moto X is also available from US wireless carrier Republic Wireless, which offers plans as low as $25 per month (or even lower if you only plan to use it with WiFi).

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13 replies on “Motorola CEO: There’s clearly demand for devices not tied to a contract”

  1. “Motorola CEO: There’s clearly demand for devices not tied to a contract”

    Duh – where’s this clueless idiot been? Maybe he just parachuted in from an alien planet? And by the way – there’s huge demand for SD slots and screens that don’t reflect every light in the room too – bozo.

  2. There’s also clearly demand for high end devices with a good slideout keyboard.

    1. I’m eyeing Ubuntu Touch and Sailfish OS so I really want a slide out keyboard targeted for terminal and SSH use. A replaceable battery and an SD card slot are also very useful for me.

      1. yes a good slideout keyboard with all the traditional 104 pc key layout. I hate having to go an extra key press to access other keys. it would be nice to hvae some kind of mouse like functionality on the keyboard too…like moto milestone. I like the select copy paste with the middle scrollwheel click and miss it on the smaller form factor devices. I’m not keen on touch selecting/copying/pasting because you can’t see where you are touching and you can’t be precise with the selection either.

  3. I’ve long wondered why very capable 7 inch tablets start at $100 and a very nice name brand one can be had for under $200, but a 6 inch phablet “smartphone” starts at $400-500. Does the cellular capability add that much more to the cost of the device, or have phone subsidies managed to keep smartphone prices unnecessarily high? I want to believe that it is the latter, but only now has a well known company built a decent phone for a reasonable price, where I would have thought someone would have jumped on that opportunity a long time ago. I know smaller packages equals higher prices, but build a decent phone for $150 and I won’t care about the 2 extra millimeters, I swear. I am so close to buying a Moto G, but I am holding out for something similar with LTE capability, hopefully soon.

    1. Doubt it, especially considering what you can buy new phones for on eBay. The fiction that a phone ‘really’ costs $500 plus is what has allowed the cell carriers to keep rates so high, thus allowing them to harvest the ginourmous stacks of cash needed to fund the 4G rollout. Customers want ever increasing bandwidth but aren’t all that willing to pay so many times what a wired Internet connection costs. So the carriers have played games.

      Reality will eventually put a stop to it though, people will find phones they can live with at realistic prices and a critical mass will move to bring your own device plans. Just as soon as a couple of tier one device makers (like Google/Moto) sell the devices in a mass market way. Households routinely paying over a thousand a year for cell phone bills isn’t sustainable, especially if the economy stays in the crapper.

    2. From looking at apple’s and samsung’s massive profits from their smartphones I would say that subsidies have managed to keep prices unnecessarily high, though I’m sure the radios add ~$100 near what you would pay for LTE in a tablet.

      As for the size argument. . . doesn’t really hold water when we are talking phablet sizes, yet they are still priced very high.

      However, look at devices direct from China and you are talking ~$350 for 5″ 1080p 32GB 3GB RAM with the latest Mediatek SoC. . . . versus ~$800 for the latest and greatest from sammy with similar specs with a better SoC, doubt the SoC adds that much.

  4. I also think it is time to drop mandatory data plans being attached to smartphones. I for one do not want the internet on my phone but could use the WiFi when needed and other functions of a good smart phone. To me it is like going into a car dealer and being forced in buying an automatic when I want a standard shift.

    1. I think there are some prepaid plans that have very low data packages, and I know Republic Wireless does an unlimited voice/text with no data. The major carriers aren’t going to let that package pricing go until everything is over LTE.

      1. Some inexpensive low-data plans: Page Plus (on Verizon) has a $12/month plan with 250 mins/250 texts and minimal data. Kajeet (on Sprint) has a $15 plan with unlimited texting and (expensive) pay as you go data. Lycamobile (T-Mobile) has a similar plan for $16. Lots of people have plans in the $30/month range with generous or unlimited talk and text and limited or throttled data.

        If you buy your own phone outright and don’t care much about data then there really isn’t any reason to pay more than ~$30 a month.

  5. Yeah, when the rest of the world laughs at how Americans are bent over for unpleasantness at the hands of the networks I think that that is entirely safe and accurate statement to make!

    1. And the new FCC chairman is bending us over again — now he wants to let the ISPs double charge. Charge you for internet service and then charge content providers like netflix — didn’t I pay to get the data to my home? That’s like me paying a taxi and the restaurant it drops me off at having to pay the taxi for the privilege of me getting to the restaurant. The US government is owned by corporate america these days.

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