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SCREW IT, says Motorola: Moto G mobe goes on sale two months EARLY

Now taking preorders in America for phones to ship in December

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Motorola has offered an early Christmas present to its US customers by making its new, low-cost Moto G handset available for preorder in time for the holidays.

Up until now, the Moto X's cheaper, younger sibling wasn't expected to reach the US until January. That's still the case if you want to purchase it through a carrier, but Motorola unexpectedly began taking orders for the devices on its own website on Tuesday and says it will begin shipping them in December.

As previously announced, the handsets are selling for $179 for a model with 8GB of onboard storage or $199 for a 16GB model. Neither version has a microSD card for expansion, but both also come bundled with 50GB of free storage on Google Drive for two years.

Only the GSM version of the phone will be available before January. The Moto G is not an LTE handset, and Motorola is not offering a CDMA version for preorder. The handsets are unlocked, however, and they support all of the global GSM bands, so they should work with AT&T, T-Mobile, or any other GSM network.

For either version of the phone, you can also choose between a chipset that's been optimized for US 3G (UMTS/HSPA+) networks or one that works best on global networks when roaming outside the US.

The version of the handset that will arrive in December will ship with Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean," but Motorola has said that it will have an upgrade to Android 4.4 "KitKat" ready by January, and that all Moto G owners are guaranteed to receive it free of charge.

Those who would like to receive the devices by Christmas might be advised to move fast, though. Motorola's website says the phones will start shipping on December 2, but as we go to push the big, red "Publish" button on this story, the ship dates for certain models have already slipped to December 9. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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