Motorola displayed a rather preternatural obsession with leather at its big Chicago device unveiling on Thursday. Leather took its place among silicon, aluminum, titanium, steel and plastic as one of the key materials going into its phone designs, and Motorola wasn’t shy about bragging about it.
Four different color shades of leather are now among the choices for back covers in the Moto X, joining wood veneer and plastic in its Moto Maker custom phone design program. Leather will also be the default option for wristbands on the new Moto 360 smartwatch.
[company]Motorola[/company] apparently searched the world the far and wide to find a leather materials provider only to discover Horween Leather Company in its backyard. Horween runs a full-bore tannery just a mile away from its new Chicago HQ – and shocking to me, just a few blocks away from my apartment for six years. The company is supplying the custom phone cases and wristbands that Motorola hopes will differentiate it from the plastic and metal housings of its competitors.
I’ll admit, hands on, these designs look slick. While leather bands aren’t unfamiliar on a watch, they definitely lend a supple and distinct feel to the Moto X handsets that I played with. But I have to wonder how they would age. Perhaps in time they would develop a characteristic patina, similar to that of your favorite leather jacket or wallet. Then again, I also can’t help thinking about what a year of pocket sweat would do for the phone’s odor.