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Motorola Builds First U.S. Made Smart Phone, Hires 2,500 People In Fort Worth

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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) - It’s something never been done before in the U.S. until now: Making a smart phone.

But 2,500 workers are making it a reality at the Flextronics plant near Alliance Airport in Fort Worth.

Dennis Woodside, CEO of Motorola Mobility says, “We think people are going to be really proud to own a phone made in the U.S.”

It’s called the Moto-X.

Google, which owns Motorola, says producing the nation’s first smartphone in the U.S. and in Texas, is smart business.

Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt says, “Google is a place where we take bets. This is a bet we’re taking on America, on Texas, on this incredible workforce assembled here. We think this is a very safe bet.”

Governor Rick Perry, who attended the grand opening, and addressed workers and the media here says, “The reason they made the decision to come here is because they know it works, and Texas works, and Texans work.”

Arriving at this point may have taken years.  But getting this plant up to speed took just weeks.

Flextronics’ CEO, Mike McNamara, says this facility was still moth-balled this past March.  “We shipped the first units on May 1st, went into full production launch August 6th, and when you look, 2500 people here, we’re now shipping 100,000 phones a week.”

The phone itself is also a first.  While the company says it’s shipping tens of thousands of phones each week, each phone is not made for the masses.  Instead, it’s made for a single customer.  That’s because the phones are being customized — even before they are made.

By going onto Motorola’s website, you can choose the color of the front of the phone in either black or white.  For the back of the device, you can choose between 20 different colors.  In addition, you can choose an accent color, the amount of memory, and even the wallpaper you like.

After ordering the phone online, Motorola says it takes about four days to make it in the factory and then send it to the customer.  They customized a phone for the Governor too.

An inside look at the plant where the first American smartphone is made.  (credit: CBS 11 News)

An inside look at the plant where the first American smartphone is made. (credit: CBS 11 News)

Customers may now include Governor Perry who tossed his phone to the floor after being teased by Motorola’s CEO.  “We have a bigger phone for you.  This is the Moto-X in Texas A&M colors.”

Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, says this may be the first smart phone made in the U.S., but says it won’t be the last.

He believes Motorola’s competitors will someday make their own smart phones in this country.

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