Cellphone pioneer Motorola says it's opening a manufacturing facility
that will produce the first smartphone ever assembled in the U.S. -- its
new flagship device, Moto X.
The Texas site was once used by fellow
phone manufacturer Nokia, meaning it was designed to produce mobile
devices, said Will Moss, a spokesman for Motorola Mobility, which is
owned by Google.
"It was a great facility in an ideal location,"
said Moss, who said it will be an easy trip for Motorola engineering
teams based in Chicago and Silicon Valley, and is also close to the
company's service and repair operations in Mexico.
The formal announcement came from Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside at AllThingsD's D11 Conference.
factory will create 2,000 jobs and will be owned and run by Flextronics
International Ltd., a Singapore-based contract electronics manufacturer
that has had a long relationship with Motorola.
for relatively little of the cost of a smartphone. The cost largely
lies in the chips, battery and display, most of which come from Asian
factories. For instance, research firm iSuppli estimates that the
components of Samsung's latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S4, cost $229,
while the assembly cost $8.
In December, Apple Inc. said it would
move manufacturing of one of its existing lines of Mac computers to the
U.S. this year, reversing decades of increasing outsourcing. The
company has come under some criticism for working conditions at the
Chinese factories where its products are assembled.
Some other manufacturers, such as Hewlett-Packard Co., have kept some PC assembly operations in the U.S.
Moss said the Moto X will go on sale this summer. He said he could provide few details, citing priority secrets.
Motorola will still have global manufacturing operations, including at factories in China and Brazil.