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US factory means buyers can customize Google phone



Published: Thu, August 1, 2013 @ 4:15 p.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — With its first smartphone designed completely in-house, Google is demonstrating one of the benefits of moving production from Asia to the U.S.: It's letting buyers customize phones to give them their own style.

Workers at the factory in Forth Worth, Texas, assemble the custom phone and Google ships it to the buyer's door within five days.

The Moto X is going on sale in about a month at all four national wireless carriers — Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile — starting at $200.

Initially, only AT&T will offer the customization option, but Google said it hopes to make it available across all carriers soon. The company will offer 18 different back covers ranging in color from "spearmint" to "cabernet," a choice of black or white fronts and seven different metallic accents for details like the volume button. That makes for 252 possible style variations of the phone.

In the fall, Google plans to offer four variants of wood for the back cover.

The Moto X is the first smartphone to be assembled in the U.S. Even though the concept of the smartphone was pioneered here and many phones have been designed in the U.S., the vast majority of phones are assembled in Asia.

With labor costs rising in China, some electronics manufacturers are looking to move manufacturing back to the U.S. Apple is moving production of its Mac Pro desktop computers to the U.S. this year.


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