We really thought the keyboard Moto Z Mod might actually ship, but yesterday, the company behind it — Livermorium — issued a final update on Indiegogo saying its not happening. The mods creators chalk its demise up to supply chain issues, a lack of Moto Z phone owners, and zero retailer interest. That combination does sound pretty damning. However, Livermorium says its now focusing its efforts on an actual phone, called the Q-device, which will be a high-end and premium landscape slider phone. People who backed the keyboard mod on Indiegogo can automatically roll their pledge over to this new phone and then buy it at a discounted rate. (But I dont know why youd put faith in this company a second time.) Backers can also request a full refund through PayPal, and they have until September 30th to do so. This campaign failing to ship is particularly disheartening because the company even won Motorola and Indiegogos Transform the Smartphone Challenge, after which it was put through Motorolas Accelerator Program where the phone company collaborated on the device. Even with full corporate support, crowdfunded campaigns cant make it. Its a downer. Motorola still has plenty of its own Mods to choose from, but none are a keyboard. And we might have already seen the last of the Moto Z phones.
Livermorium couldn't afford to enter full production. More than a few companies tried burying bad news during yesterday's Apple keynote. The latest to come to light is a tough blow for fans of physical keyboards: Livermorium announced that it's ending work on its Moto Mod keyboard. In an update on its IndieGogo page, the company writes that it can't scrounge up any interest in selling the accessory, largely due to the Moto Z being "extremely unpopular in most places. " Livermorium also can't muster the funds to source the parts needed to enter full production. The gulf between the amount of components it can afford and the minimum order amount is wide, and without securing outside funding, Livermorium won't be able to bring the project to market as planned. The Indiegogo update goes into great detail explaining the decision, but the tl;dr is it didn't make sense to keep going down this path. "We cannot keep supporting a product which has no financial interest elsewhere and still increasing cost everyday to get it produced." For context, the campaign had a paltry 1,653 backers and $164,706 in pledges. However, just because it's on Indiegogo doesn't mean you'll lose the funds you pledged. The company will honor full refunds for those who haven't received theirs yet, or, you can stick around for its replacement project: a "High-end and Premium Landscape Slider Smartphone." The firm started developing this, codenamed "Q-device," in parallel to the keyboard mod, and doesn't have many details to share at the moment. There's room for niche phones, sure, but it doesn't seem like people are exactly running down the streets screaming for one with a physical keyboard. Well, unless they're BlackBerry devotees, and even then, it's not like the KEY2 doesn't exist. While it isn't the scale of Google shuttering Inbox or the announcement that the CEO of Engadget's parent company, Oath, will leave before 2019, this is unfortunate news for at least a few people nonetheless.