The First U.S.-Made Smartphone Will Be Built in North Texas

Categories: Biz, Technology

There's still some debate over whether the return of manufacturing to the U.S. -- "reshoring," it's called -- is a lasting trend or just a bump on the road toward an entirely knowledge-based economy. Some experts suggest it's merely a byproduct of the recession. But there's no doubt that it's happening. Ford, Caterpiller, GE and Apple have all made high-profile decision to bring some manufacturing operations back from overseas.

None of those moves involved smartphones, every single one of which is assembled in another country. But this week, Motorola Mobility announced it will be assembling its new Moto X phone at a new manufacturing plant in Fort Worth.

The company explains its thought process:

There were a few reasons why we decided to do this. There are several business advantages to having our Illinois and California-based designers and engineers much closer to our factory. For instance, we'll be able to iterate on design much faster, create a leaner supply chain, respond much more quickly to purchasing trends and demands, and deliver devices to people here much more quickly. And as a part of Google we're being encouraged to take big bets on things that make a difference.

The phone itself has been the subject of much buzz in the tech blogosphere. Until this week, the leaked photos and shifting details had turned the phone into "somewhat of a mythical creature," in the words of Android Spin. The emergence of solid evidence that the phone is indeed on its way was greeted with joy.

Rick Perry is less enthused about the phone than the 2,000 jobs it brings to Texas. He greeted Motorola Mobility's announcement with a triumphant press release by Governor Rick Perry, who took the opportunity to boast of Texas' robust economy, low taxes, and light regulation.

Meanwhile, the company is already looking for workers.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
holmantx topcommenter

We'll need two things - the federal agencies will have to issue a folder of waivers from the Affordable Care Act to Dodd-Frank to OSHA to the EPA to the Interior . . . and we'll need the Feds to temporarily relax the oversight on issuance of H-1B visas.


Knowledge based economy? More like lawnmower based. Especially if Obama voters get their way

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

If it's really that smart of a phone, could somebody please design an app that will allow it to safely pilot an automobile while its idiot owner is busily engaged in coordinating lunch plans with their gardening club?


Seventy percent of the product will be manufactured here for the 'contextually aware' device as part of Motorola's entire product line relaunch after the Google acquisition:


U.S. manufacturing output is at an all-time high:

The issue is manufacturing employment.

Scratch that, the real issue is quality job employment: 

If we can manufacture more with less (higher productivity), then we have generated resources available for IT development, R&D, infrastructure development, etc. 

So the challenge is to translate the higher productivity into more of these high quality jobs. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Excellent news.  Meanwhile, the Chinese just bought Smithfield for $5 billion, and OOPS continues to forbid health care coverage for 27% of Texans.


It wasn't all that long ago that Nokia had a huge phone factory near Alliance airport.  I worked there as a temp for one summer packing those ubiquitous 5100s into boxes, then some time after I went back to college they shut that plant down and started building the next generation phones in China.  Funny to see it come full circle...

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk just this morning, I was following a white truck with a driver who was clearly texting,  about every 15 seconds the guy would tap his brakes and then look back down at his phone.  I dont know whats worse, being in front of texter who is going to plow you, or being behind one who you never can tell when they may just stop or kill the car in front you causing you to rear end them.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Will I believe the old Nokia factory is where Motorola is going to manufacture this phone

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk me too, I tried to stay a little more than a car lenght back so I could at least see down the shoulder around him.  Problem there is, then the next jackass feels as if you've left enough space for them to jump in front of you.  I really used to not care until I got smashed in december by a guy on a phone not paying attention.  Its really affected how I drive on the freeway now

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault