Moto E sets New Standard for Budget Mobile Devices

Once in a while there comes a product that revolutionizes the whole industry by radically introducing a new concept into its product, like the time when iPhone was introduced by Steve Jobs.

The mobile industry in particular, is like the battleground to introduction of new technology. The wow-factor each release of new iPhone is enormous, but not everybody can afford the newest hot iPhone with all the latest bells and whistles.
With the release of Moto E, Motorola Mobility has brought a new kind of innovation to the mobile space – cheap devices with rock bottom prices. Moto E is like a budget buyers’ dream come true. It has pixel density comparable to iPhone 5, Gorilla Glass 3, 3G, a 4.3” display. These are the things no other international mobile maker offers in its price range. But how did Motorola achieve this?

The cost of mobile phone production in general has gone down significantly in last few years, thanks to the rapid adoption of smart-phones and mass production accompanying it. The introduction of newer and cheaper chips has also played a role in decline of the prices. But this price drop did not result in affordable mid-range mobile phones.

All major mobile vendors have low-end models particularly for developing markets. Traditionally low-end android phones had screen sizes between 2.8” and 3.2”; 3.5” was reserved for premium mobiles. What happened overtime is, the screen size of higher end mobile phones started going upwards. 4.5” and upwards became the new norm for flagships.

As the outcomes of mass production high end smartphones and cheap availability of raw materials, the price of large screens started going down. But the manufacturers still kept pushing low end devices with smaller screens to justify higher prices their midrange devices.

When Nokia introduced Lumia 520 in 2013, the model instantly became a hit in India and other developing countries. It was a new breathe of life for Microsoft’s struggling Windows Phone OS. Lumia 520 featured 4” screen with a price tag much lower than Android phones having same set of features. The price at launch was around INR 7000.

Samsung soon responded by launching Samsung Star Pro, a 4” screener with similar features of Lumia 520. Soon others followed and 4” screen became the new standard for low-end Android phones. Everything was great, but in order to justify ridiculously high prices of mid-range devices like Galaxy Trend and Galaxy Ace 3, manufacturers capped RAM to 512, just enough for Android to keep running.

Local manufacturers like Micromax was no exception. 1GB was exclusively reserved for mid-range devices. In 2014, Nokia entered Android race, with Nokia X series. Since Nokia don’t have any plan to release high-end Android phones, it was free to choose a reasonable price based on actual cost of production of its Android phones. The industry standard for cheap Android phones was once again set on 4” screen 512 MB RAM formula.

Motorola just took the game two steps further. Moto E was launched for a price even cheaper than Nokia X, with a bigger screen and a 1GB RAM. The price of Moto E awed budget conscious buyers who needed a reliable brand. Moto E established a new standard (4.3 inch and 1GB RAM) for specs of budget Android devices. Soon other manufacturers will follow the suite. Micromax, the manufacturer who is most likely to suffer losses with the launch of Moto E, has responded by introducing Unite 2, a Moto E contender.

Image Credit: Motorola

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