Motorola has been doing its best to build some buzz around the Moto X, which launched this week. As a smartphone, the X is decidedly middle-of-the-road. It boasts specs and a design similar to the Droid models Motorola announced last week. Available later this month at $199 on-contract from most major US carriers, the X's biggest claim to fame -- other than swappable backplates, including one made of wood -- is the fact that it's assembled in the US, in a 500,000-square-foot factory in Fort Worth, Texas. Yes, that's "assembled." Despite widespread reports that the X is being made in the US, most of its components, from its display to those backplates, are produced in factories around the world, and workers in Texas will assemble the phones.
Does it really matter where your smartphone is made? If your main concern is domestic job creation, it might. A 2012 survey by Boston Consulting Group found that over 80 percent of Americans are willing to pay more for products that are made in the US instead of China, mainly because they want to keep jobs in the country. Interestingly, the same survey found that 60 percent of Chinese consumers would pay a premium for US-made products, apparently based on the belief that the US produces higher-quality products. When it comes to smartphones, that's an idea that's difficult to put to the test; there are none currently manufactured in the United States, and that's not about to change with the launch of the X.