A little company named Livermorium was trying to make a keyboard Moto Mod attachment for the Moto Z line of phones. But, now they’ve given up. Darn. But fear not, physical keyboard lovers! Livermorium is now supposedly shifting gears to making a whole phone with a keyboard.
Here’s why the keyboard Moto Mod isn’t happening, as summarized by XDA-Developers:
- There was no commercial interest from official retailers. Moto Z smartphones have a low market share in most places, hence, it would be difficult to find third-party retailers to sell the mod as an accessory.
- The company did not receive any funding apart from Indiegogo, which left them little money after product development, molding, and sampling.
- The company can only afford to produce 3,000 units. This poses a problem when needing to order components. For example, the distributor of an uncommon component required them to order a minimum of 14,000 pieces from the factory because the part wasn’t in stock.
- The Keyboard Mod used lots of unique components that couldn’t be substituted. The lead time on sourcing some of these parts was months. The battery controller they used last year was discontinued, and the newer controller requires a change on the PCB which already started production.
- There’s a high cost of assembly and quality assurance per device.
- Changing the layout would require approval from Motorola.
- They were still working on solving the thickness and weight issues with the product.
Livermorium is instead pivoting to making a whole phone, which they’ve codenamed the Q-Device. They claim on their Indiegogo page that it’ll be way better than a Moto Z with the keyboard mod would ever have been. Because I’m sure trading in all those challenges they had in making a Moto Mod for putting a whole phone together from scratch with funding from Indiegogo will produce a much better result.