The Verge's advice focuses on value in a packed market, and explicitly recommends against attempting novelty. This is crap advice, the kind of numbing pablum that Walmart gives to reps with a new product. "You want to make jeans? Sure, you have to make them in a way that fits on the existing shelving and matches the existing pipeline of ass-coverings, and don't come to us in the spring without lighter weight stuff and shorts." The message is that innovation doesn't sell, which is completely wrong, you can still sell the hell out of yoga pants (high volume/moderate margin) and utilikilts (high margin low volume) if you are careful. Innovation doesn't sell in volume right away. Was Tesla thought to be a competitor to the big automakers? Puhleez. But they put out an innovative niche product and did it goddamn well, and now as they ramp production and solve nontrivial production problems, they are becoming a serious threat to a super-defined market dominated by a few big players.
Also, the Verge article mixes up the use of the word "value" between low-cost+performant product vs premium product, and implies you must choose one end of the spectrum or you are fools. This is also complete BS; it's entirely possible to put out a mid-market device that eats the premium product's lunch (with the exception of the 1% of the market that buys Kardashian-style gold-plated iPhones just because of the logo and the gold). This is how Samsung arrived at its current market position. Let's not forget that along the way to it's current dominance, Samsung put out versions of the Galaxy phone that had stylii, projectors, card slots, display adapters, etc etc. Some of those are still highly profitable products at high volume today, and there's certainly room for improvement -- particularly with respect to flexibility. To dismiss as "high school science fair" and unaware of the global market is profoundly ignorant of the history of this market.
Not only is this a viable play-book for Moto, it's exactly what they should do in order to not become part of the "value" market on the clearance shelf.