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Larry Magid: Motorola’s Moto E Could Have Consumers Straying From Pricier Smartphones

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Chairman and CEO of Motorola Mobility Sanjay Jha speaks during a press event at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Venetian January 5, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Chairman and CEO of Motorola Mobility Sanjay Jha speaks during a press event at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Venetian January 5, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

LarryMagid01-228 Larry Magid
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safe...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Motorola’s Moto E might not be considered the most high-end Android phone, but with unveiling of their new smartphone, it looks like they want to lure customers away from pricier manufacturers.

It’s interesting because not only is it a pretty good phone, but the company sells it unlocked for $129 without a contract. As you know, typically when you walk into a store and you see a phone for $99, you’d normally be required to sign a two-year contract; plus it’s locked, so you can’t take it to another carrier.

With the Moto E, once you buy the phone, you own it and you aren’t under any contract. You could sign up for a T-Mobile plan and if you’re tired of that after a month, you move over to AT&T if you wanted. Or if you’re like me, you could get off a plane in London and buy a local SIM card and plug it in.

Motorola’s Moto E Could Have Consumers Straying From Pricier Smartphones

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There’s a trend with unlocked phones and interestingly enough, they’re priced in a way that they’re actually cheaper than many of the phones you’d get under contract.

I’m not overwhelmed by the Moto E, but I like it. It’s certainly comparable to most good smartphones on the market. It doesn’t have quite the resolution of something like the Samsung Galaxy S5 or the iPhone 5S, but it has good resolution and feels nice in the hand and it has good battery life.

I think a lot of people are going to go for something like this. It’s less than one-fifth the price of the iPhone 5S. The difference in price is enormous and I think in the long-run that’s going to put a lot of pressure on the manufacturers like Apple, Samsung and other major carriers that have to rethink their product line.

The pricing alone could be the game changer. These companies are starting to go for the developing world. In most parts of the world you have to be part of the elite to be able to afford those aforementioned Apple and Samsung phones.

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