14 March 2019
Motorola has been quite committed to its Moto Mods platform which adds a modularity aspect to the Moto Z series smartphones. Since its debut with the original Moto Z, we have seen a number of Moto Mods which bring different additional functionality including a better camera zoom, higher battery life, and even a gaming pad. On the same line, we were introduced with a new physical keyboard Moto Mod which looked promising but has now been canceled.
The idea of this keyboard Moto Mod was the brainchild of UK-based Livermorium which started off an Indiegogo campaign to collect funds for the same. While it did manage to reach the goal and was eyeing an October launch, it has now pulled curtains on the project due to various reasons. It said that there was no commercial interest from official retailers and since Moto Z phones have a fairly smaller market share, it was difficult to find third-party retailers as well.
The only funding it received for the project was from Indiegogo campaign which meant they could produce only about 3,000 units of the Moto Mod. Such a low quantity meant problems in convincing component suppliers. It gave an example where the supplier of an uncommon component wanted them to place an order for at least 14,000 pieces as it was not available in stock.
It further said that the lead time to source certain components to be used in the Moto Mod was quite long (in months) and these components were irreplaceable. And if they were to change the mod's layout, they would have to ask for Motorola's approval which would have taken more time. There were a few other issues as well like how to reduce the weight and thickness of the mod. As a result, the company decided to pull the plug on the project.
The Livermorium keyboard Moto Mod was first showcased at CES 2018 earlier this year. It was meant to offer a physical QWERTY keyboard to Moto Z users who were interested in having one. It was a five rows keyboard with a dedicated row for number keys. There were larger common keys, Android navigation buttons, arrow keys, and shortcuts for commonly used utilities. It also featured an additional 2100mAh battery and made it possible to tilt the phone's display at an angle of 45 degrees.