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.
@griffithgg The new Moto X won’t be available on the Sprint network. Thanks for checking in.
— Motorola Mobility (@Motorola) September 17, 2014
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.
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.