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In an attempt to compete on the basis of non-utilitarian fashion, Motorola offers purchasers of the Moto X the opportunity to customize the back with a wooden finish. What you may not know is that Motorola is treating these would-be wood pickers like blockheads. If you are more of a tree-hugger than a wood lover, you will be pleased to know that no teak, ebony, or walnut was harmed in the making of these teak, ebony, and walnut backs. If the real thing is what you were after, you will not want to touch these things with a 10' pole, wooden or otherwise.

Recently, Motorola found it necessary to clarify what it was selling, rather, what it wasn't selling:

Clarification on the Material Used in New Moto X Wood Back “Finishes” for Ebony, Teak, and Walnut

Motorola returned word to us that the backs are indeed wood, but that they are then treated to give off the look of Ebony, Teak, or Walnut. In other words, you are looking at a wood back “but Walnut, Ebony and Teak are treated with their indicated finish to adjust the color and design.” With Bamboo, it seems as if you are just getting Bamboo with no extra treatment or finish. No word on what kind of wood they are using initially before treatment on the other options.

Even a Motorola apologist couldn't get the lipstick to stick on this pig. We still have no idea what type of wood is used for these backs. Pretending that it does not matter is more than disingenuous. People who pay extra for teak, really want the bragging rights of having teak. If they just wanted something that looked like teak, they could have bought a sticker. For all we know, the finish is nothing more than a sticker over some particle board. What we know for sure is that if you paid extra to have teak, ebony, or walnut, you will definitely not be getting teak, ebony, or walnut. 

Motorola: a wholly owned subsidiary of Google, has to learn that if you are going to attempt to be a fashion and design company, you have to be authentic. You cannot sell snake-skin boots made from cowhide, using as an excuse that at least it was leather. If you are going to sell a certain type of wood, you need to have an intern in a rain-forest with axe in hand, ready to cut down the last ebony tree if that is what it takes. 

Inauthenticity is nothing new in the Android universe. Samsung's latest flagship comes with a fake leather back. Other phones are made to look like metal, but are really plastic. Tacky! This same trick has been pulled with notebooks as well. Why? Because they want to be Apple on the cheap. It is really expensive to build a MacBook. It is considerably cheaper to take a few shortcuts with materials and paint. It is one thing to make a phone out of plastic. It is another to pretend to be making something out of a premium material, and only using gussied up plastic as an illusion. 

Motorola tried to add a touch of class and elegance to its line of cheap phones. They charged their faithful customers extra for specific types of wood back. Then handed them generic wood and a thin coat of paint to make the wood look like something more exotic. Android apologists are just happy that, at least it's wood... they think.

David Johnson

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