Sorry Sprint folks, there’s no new Moto X coming your way

9 Comments

By all measures, this year’s Moto X handset is a flagship phone; the kind that carriers would typically want front and center to sell to their customers. According to Motorola Mobility, however, Sprint won’t be selling the Moto X at all, which is a bit of a surprise and already disappointing some Sprint customers.

I reached out to [company]Sprint[/company] for verification of the news and a representative provided me this statement: “We don’t comment on products or service that we have not announced.” I did the same with [company]Motorola[/company] and got this response, confirming the tweet: “The new Moto X won’t be available on the Sprint network. But we are always in talks with them and hopefully there will be an opportunity in the future.”

Sprint clearly wants to offer the latest and greatest phones to its customers: It currently sells a special edition of the HTC One M8, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and the LG G3, for example. The carrier even created a unique data plan option for the Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in order to attract customers. I can’t think of a single reason Sprint wouldn’t want the new Moto X on its shelves.

The Moto X's new leather backs (Photo by Kevin Fitchard/Gigaom)

The Moto X’s new leather backs (Photo by Kevin Fitchard/Gigaom)

Last year’s Moto X was available for Sprint, which could shed some light on the situation because it model didn’t support Sprint Spark, which uses three very different LTE bands. Perhaps Motorola has something to do with the decision then.

Surely, the company knows how many Moto X phones on Sprint were sold last year so it should be able to anticipate demand for this year’s model. If the 2013 edition sales figures were low, I think it’s reasonable that Motorola simply didn’t want to deal with the effort to support Sprint’s unique network configuration and three LTE bands at this time, considering Spark is available in relatively few markets.

Luckily for Sprint, it seems as though Motorola is the only major handset maker to feel that way for now.

This post was updated at 1:39pm to add Motorola’s official statement.

 

9 Comments

Joe

I purchased a 1st gen moto x for my wife from Best Buy when her Sprint contract renewed.

George

It’s a bit weird that a handset manufacturer (Motorola) would not want to have as large a potential customer base as possible and that a carrier (Sprint) would not want to entire customers with as broad a selection of handsets as possible.

Where is the upside for either party in not carrying a desirable, highly buzzed handset?

I suspect the truth is that comes down to some behind the scenes deal that the companies couldn’t agree on. Maybe Sprint wanted a version that had some exclusive feature and Motorola said no (it would after all go against the idea of the Moto X with near stock Android). Or maybe Sprint refused to pay as much of a subsidy as Motorola wanted.

Whatever the reason, I doubt what Sprint or Motorola say publically is the truth.

Anyway, a good example of what is wrong with the U.S. mobile networks. We should have one standardized technology, like in most other parts of the world, so that you can take a handset to any carrier, and then they would have to compete on the two things they actually provide which is network quality and plan cost.

Rich

I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I don’t typically put much stock in what CS agents have to say as far as device availability. The person posting that simply may not know of a Sprint variant at this time.

If they don’t get the X, it’s distinctly possible they will get a new variant that does offer support for Sprint’s requirements, including Spark and support for additional LTE bands for their roaming partners.

Kevin C. Tofel

Motorola’s official PR group verified that there is no Sprint version of the phone; not a CS agent for either company. Agreed, that could always change though.

Jonathan Cable

the Moto X Pure Edition Is like the Nexus 5 and supports all Sprint LTE Bands, want to bet the pure edition will be allowed on sprints network just like the Nexus 5 from the Play Store

Dean Tavaras

I don’t really care because I just called Sprint and shaved more than $50 off my monthly family bill by going with their new wireless plan that beats the pants off the competition.

what the Hell

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