State News

Sep 11, 2013 9:05 AM

Motorola Opens First US-Assembled Smartphone Plant

FORT WORTH - Cell phone pioneer Motorola on Wednesday opened a Texas manufacturing facility that will create 2,500 jobs and produce its new flagship device, Moto X, the first smartphone ever assembled in the U.S.

Gov. Rick Perry and Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, which owns Motorola, were in attendance. Also there was Mike McNamara, CEO of Flextronics Ltd., a Singapore-based International contract electronics manufacturer that will run the plant.

Assembly accounts for relatively little of the cost of a smartphone. The cost largely lies in the chips, battery and display, most of which come from Asian factories.

But Motorola says moving assembly to the U.S. will boast efficiency because it means being closer to the product's main end-users - American phone-buyers.

Perry's office administers a pair of special state incentive funds meant to help attract job-creating businesses to Texas, but the governor did not distribute any money to close this deal. Still, Perry said Motorola's decision is a testament to the state's job-creating prowess.

"Make no mistake: Flextronics and Motorola could have put this facility anywhere in the world, but they chose Texas," he said in a statement.

Motorola originally said the facility would create 2,000 jobs but Perry said Tuesday that it will mean 2,500 new jobs statewide. He said manufacturing employment statewide has grown more than 7 percent since 2010.

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