It isn’t unusual for successfully crowdfunded projects to pull the rug from under everyone’s feet, including their own. It isn’t even unusual for some not to refund their backers for complete lack of funds. What is somewhat unusual is for the creators to embark on an even more ambitious project. That does seem to be what the folks behind the Keyboard Mod for the Moto Z, formerly known as Livermorium, after it announced not just its cancellation but also its revival.
To some extent, this isn’t completely surprising. The Moto Mods system, while ultimately or useful than LG’s failed modular system, hasn’t exactly taken off despite all the hype around modular phones. There was a notable lack of actually useful and notable mods and the Keyboard Mod was one of the rare ones. Emphasis on “was”.
The creators have announced that they were scrapping the project completely. They’ve used up all the crowdfunding funds for R&D and there hasn’t been any infusion of investment from outside sources. Due to lack of resources, they could only support making 3,000 units but no supplier was willing to give them the time of day unless it was 14,000 units minimum. And there was apparently little to no interest among retailers to sell and support an accessory for a virtually unknown smartphone series.
In other words, the Keyboard Mod’s creators have had no choice but to give up due to factors they could have figured out last year at the latest. There’s also an implication that Motorola itself didn’t seem to be very supportive of the endeavor, which is practically true for all Moto Mods in general anyway.
The UK -based creators are giving disappointed supporters two options moving forward. One is to request a full refund, which they’ll do through PayPal only. The other is to opt into the creators’ next project: an actual smartphone with a built-in sliding keyboard.
Yes, they weren’t able to create a keyboard accessory so they will make an entirely new phone instead. One that’s promised to be better, faster, and thinner than any Moto Z with a Keyboard Mod. Considering the logistics of producing a smartphone is far more complicated and expensive than making a Moto Mod, the chances are probably slimmer.