You might have noticed the pricing of the Moto X when it was announced yesterday. $199 is a typical price for a new subsidized phone on a 2-year contract, but what about T-Mobile? The magenta carrier doesn't do traditional subsidies anymore, so what's the deal? Well, a close reading of the original PR makes it clear that T-Mobile isn't going to carry the device in stores or online. It'll still exist, though.


The other national carriers will all have the device on shelves, with AT&T getting the early exclusive on the customizable colors. It looks like T-Mobile will help Motorola make sure the T-Mobile optimized version of the device works on its LTE network, but that's as far as it goes. It's also possible this is a vague reference to the unlocked model, and there isn't one phone specifically designed for T-Mobile. Here's the relevant bit of the PR:

In the US, woven black and woven white models will be available at AT&T, Sprint, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless and at national retailers including Best Buy stores with a suggested retail price of $199 with a new two-year agreement. Additionally, it will be available on all carriers, including T-Mobile, at Motorola.com. (emphasis added)

Presumably this means the device will not be subsidized, or compatible with T-Mobile's payment plan. You could be looking at $575 for the device if you're on T-mobile. Without T-Mobile directly involved, the device could at least get faster updates direct from Motorola, which makes it seem like it could simply be the unlocked model we're talking about here. If that's the case, bootloader unlocking should be no problem.

We've reached out to Motorola PR to see if we can get clarification on this. There will be an update if we hear anything.

[All Things D]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • r1fo

    Hmm, I have to say that I was looking forward to leaving Sprint for T-Mobile's $30 + JUMP plan and this phone... looks like that may no longer be an option, at least not with a subsidised phone. Perhaps I will still do it but with a different device. I guess nothing happens as you plan it

    • root4life

      Same shit here brother

    • http://twitter.com/phonecount StalkyTheFish

      I could be wrong, but I don't think you can do Jump on a pre-paid plan. If you go with the $30 plan, you're completely on your own in terms of hardware.

      • wolfkabal

        This is correct. In the same boat.

        • Thomas Decker

          Yup, no JUMP, no payment plan for the $30 UT, UD, 100 minutes, but it's such a cheap plan, who cares? I tend to go over 50 minutes a month, $5, oh my!

          • Andrew Bernath

            You don't get to buy extra minutes on that $30 plan. When you run out, you are cut off for the month till you pay again. I had to leave cause of that... :(

          • john c

            Not true, when my minutes are up, I just add $10 with no interruption in service.

          • Thomas Decker

            Not true at all Andrew, if you have money in your account, then you get continued service at 10 cents a minute.....there are some months where I know I'm going to go 100 over, just make sure the cash is there.....I'm 10 over right now, looks like my plan is going to hit $33 plus WI sales tax this month....

          • http://twitter.com/phonecount StalkyTheFish

            You most definitely can buy extra minutes. You can add funds at any time. The minimum is $10 though, BUT if you have any left over when your month cycles, it gets credited to the next month's $30 re-up, so there is no wastage.

      • r1fo

        You know I think you might be right. I always assumed it was with any plan but it looks like it's only for the simple choice plans.

      • ins0mn1a

        you are not wrong. then again, being on your own in terms of hardware is not such a bad thing: you can sell your old device and buy a new one whenever you want, and financially it generally boils down to a pretty similar thing like you were on jump.

  • http://androidandme.com/ Taylor Wimberly

    Sounds like an unlocked version to me. Really interested to see when this comes and how they price it.

  • briankariu

    Good guy T-Mobile. Refused to get caught up in the phone price games that the other carriers are playing...

    • Zak Taccardi

      What do you mean?

  • Benjamin Rubenstein

    I just can't see them offering this for less than $500 unlocked. At that price, it's just not worth getting over the Nexus 4, IMHO.

    • Frettfreak

      At that price it's not worth getting it over the one or the gs4

      • Benjamin Rubenstein

        Debatable. Depends how much you like Moto features. Lots of awesome stuff there.

        • Chris Carver

          Regardless, at that price it still isn't worth it...

          • Stephen McGann

            I would still prefer it over the GS4 but I'd be more inclined to get a Maxx or One for 200$ on contract

    • Ian Santopietro

      It's put me in a real debacle. I want to customize my next phone. That's a fantastic idea.

      Buuuuuut, Nexus 4. 'Nuff said.

  • Thomas Decker

    I'm waiting for the NexTus!

  • Ian Santopietro

    I guess they could still wow us on price. The T-Mobile Nexus 4 was $600 off contract (for some reason), so maybe the unlocked X will be much less than $600.

    • Matthew DiGiacomo

      What? No it wasn't it was like $480, that's what I paid.

      • Thomas Decker

        Why on earth wouldn't you just buy it from Google for $299 and have a pure Android phone?

        • Pengwn

          You must not remember the N4 shipping debacle. Some people had to go the T-Mobile route since Google couldn't keep their store stocked for the demand.

          • Thomas Decker

            Ahh, wasn't part of any recent debacles thank the higher power or whatever....

      • Ian Santopietro

        Off contract? I could have sworn it was more than that.

  • TSON1

    Well this is extremely upsetting to hear on the eve of my switch for the uncarrier.. oh well. Probably would have upgraded from it in 6 months anyway LOL

  • CJ

    im so bummed. I was looking to switch to tmobile and nab this phone in the process. now im back to square one, fml.

    • Cuvis

      No reason not to. Remember, T-Mo doesn't subsidize anymore anyway. You'll have to pay up front instead of getting the payment plan, but you won't pay any more money in the long run.

  • Dt Bell

    I want an HTC one unlocked for AT&T,

    I like HTC features tho...

  • Thomas Decker

    I'm wondering if I should just bite the bullet and buy a Nexus 4......decisions decisions...

    • Juan De La Rosa

      new nexus devices get released like once a year, which means it should be 3-4 months before a new one comes out.

  • Simon Belmont

    Really hoping the unlocked one is reasonably priced. I'm not getting one, but I know a few people who are interested in a Moto X.

    Me? I'm waiting for the next Nexus phone.

    • Ryan O’Neill

      Same - waiting for Nexus. It will actually save me $50 over NOT buying it, because T-Mobile will save me so much money over verizon.

  • Derrick Hodges

    why would anyone buy this phone on T-Mobile over the Nexus 4 ($350 Playstore) anyway?

    • edjca

      LTE. Yes, as hard as it is to imagine, LTE is important for some people.