Nov. 13 (UPI) -- After disappointing sales of Motorola's Moto X, Google announced Wednesday the Moto G, its new budget smartphone.
The Moto X, also a budget phone aimed at emerging economies, sold just 500,000 units since its August launch according to market research firm Strategy Analytics. The phone's flop led some to wonder whether Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility was a good idea.
But the Moto G is expected to appeal to countries including Brazil, Peru and Chile, with a potential 500 million customers. The new smartphone, formally announced in Brazil Wednesday, will roll out to 30 countries in Europe and Latin America.
Seeking to crush the typical two-year contract, Google is pricing an off-contract Moto G at $179 in the U.S., or 135 euro in the U.K. Apple iPhones are $650 without contract.
In a press conference Wednesday, Motorola four Moto Gs can be purchased for the price of just one Galaxy S4, Samsung's flagship phone.
The Moto G, on sale tomorrow with Android 4.3, will roll out in India, the U.S. and the Middle East in January, when the newest Android mobile operating system, the Android 4.4 Kit Kat, will also be available.
The phone is identical to the Moto X, but skimps on specifications. The Moto G won't have the voice activated commands that characterize the Moto X, and will also be a bit bulkier. Otherwise, it has similar features.
The Moto G features a 4.5-inch 1280x720 display, a 5-megapixel primary camera and 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera and a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor.
Motorola posted a $248 million operating loss for its third quarter, and faces fierce competition against Samsung and Apple. Smartphone subscriptions worldwide are expected to triple to more than 5 billion by 2019.
Moto X prices were lowered Monday to $100 from $200 with a two-year contract.
The smartphone will not be sold in China, the largest market for budget smartphones. China blocks many of Google's services that are employed on the phone.
[Wall Street Journal] [The Verge] [Chicago Tribune]