Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) will sell 20 million units of its Moto X smart phone in 2014 according to a new report from Bernstein Research analyst Carlos Kirjner. The report builds the rumored smartphone up to be an iPhone competitor, though not really a challenger, in the near future.
The Moto X is the often talked about, little known about phone said to be coming out of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc (NYSE:MMI), the smart phone maker owned by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), some time in the near future. Rumors suggest that Google is quite involved in the design process, an exciting prospect for fans of the internet giant.
Google Moto X Backing
The report about the Moto X takes as many assumptions as necessary in order to estimate a sales figure for the Motorola flagship. The first major assumption is that the phone will be a full premium smart phone, with a feature list at least comparable with the best offerings from Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
Price Assumption Of The Moto X
The next major assumption is that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) will take a hit on the price of the Moto X, selling it at closer to $500 rather than the $600 that other premium smart phones sell for. There is precedent for this, it’s unlikely that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) makes much money on the Nexus 7 tablet.
The biggest assumption made in the report is that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is fully involved and behind the project. The rumors and news stories might be marketing hype, and most of them are probably just untrue. Kirjner makes his assumptions, however, and suggested that Google would spend $500 million on marketing for the Moto X.
In the first quarter after the Moto X is released, which is assumed to be the current one, Kirjner thinks that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is likely to sell 1.5 million phones. In the second quarter after release that number jumps to 6 million. 2014 estimates take a step further and estimate 20 million sales, an unlikely number.
20 million is a lot of units to move. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is not particularly experienced in large scale supply chain management, and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc (NYSE:MMI) is a little out of practice. If Google is able to expand to meet that level of demand it will be impressive.
That level of demand is unlikely to materialize, however. It would require flawless execution, and a worldwide roll out. Even the competition and market saturation are likely to dampen demand. 1.5 million in the first quarter might be reasonable in good circumstances. 20 million in 2014 is out of reach.