Motorola Offers Free Chromecast With Moto X Phone Buy Through Jan. 14

The free Google Chromecast television dongle, which retails for $35, is included with a Moto X purchase only through 11:59 p.m. ET on Jan. 14.

Google Chromecast

Google's Motorola unit is giving away a free Google Chromecast dongle to customers who buy a new Moto X smartphone in either 16GB or 32GB configurations. The catch is that the offer, which ran over the weekend, will come to a halt at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday night, Jan. 14.

To get the special offer, buyers must go to the Motorola home page, click the "Stream the Nominees" deal and enter the promo code STREAM, according to a promotion on the Web page.

"Catch up on hit shows and movies with a no-contract Moto X and Google Chromecast for just $399.99 (16GB) or $449.99 (32GB)," the offer states. Buyers must add the Chromecast to their order and submit it before the deadline to receive a free dongle, which lets users stream online content from a computer or laptop to a television. The phones are sold without a contract so that buyers can use them with the phone carrier of their choice, according to the company.

Moto X buyers can customize their new smartphones on the site by clicking the "Design yours" button to choose colors, materials, assign a personal greeting, get custom case engravings and other features.

Earlier In January, Motorola permanently lowered the price of the 16GB Moto X to $399 without a contract, according to an earlier eWEEK report. The Moto X and its companion Moto G phones are the company's first new offerings since Google acquired Motorola in May 2012.

The lower price for the Moto X applies on every major U.S. carrier, without a contract, and Motorola will even help finance the purchase price for buyers, according to the company.

Motorola first tried out the you-deserve-a-good-but-cheap-phone message when it introduced the Moto G Nov. 13, 2013. The Moto G, which is priced at $179, before subsidies and without a contract, has a 4.5-inch display.

While Google makes the Android operating system that runs on the smartphones that Samsung sells dramatically more of than any other device maker, Google, via Motorola, is struggling along with its peers to sell phones in an industry in which Samsung claims more than one-third of the global market-share pie and even the third-best-selling company has only a single-digit share.

By all estimates, sales of the Moto X have been modest. Research firm Strategy Analytics estimated that during its third quarter, Motorola sold around 500,000 phones—a blip beside the 9 million phones Apple sold during the iPhone 5S' opening weekend alone. (During the third quarter of 2013, even Apple's market share, at 12 percent, was just a sliver of Samsung's, according to Gartner figures.)

Moto X users, starting with Verizon Wireless customers in November 2013, have been receiving upgrades to the latest Android Version 4.4 KitKat operating system, according to an earlier eWEEK report.

The offer for the free Chromecast dongle comes only a week after Motorola dropped the price of the 16GB Moto X, so the company appears to be continuing to find ways to drive sales of the devices, which compete with other Android phones from Samsung, HTC, LG and others, as well as with iPhones from Apple.