Those looking for Motorola Inc. to unleash a post-Razr platform to fuel the company’s turnaround are still searching at the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas. The company itself had raised expectations by promoting its launch event prior to the show and analysts were looking for a sign of rejuvenated designs from the company.
Instead, Motorola launched two feature phones, one touted as a “mobile film studio,” the other a new iteration of the Rokr music handset. Two more handsets in the vendor’s budget W series also were launched today.
The Moto Z10 is another entry in the company’s “kick slider” design, which forms an ergonomically sensible curve when opened and held to one’s ear. The handset is designed to capture video, allow the user to edit clips together and create transitions, with an eye to providing content for the social-networking maniacs.
The Rokr E8 follows the company’s decision to make the Rokr its music platform and it includes “ModeShift” technology that allows the user to switch from talk to music with one button. New features include tactile feedback for virtual keys, “FastScroll” navigation for dashing through menus and improved voice quality.
Moto’s W230 and W270 are music-capable, economy handsets in candy bar and clamshell designs, respectively. The company also announced availability of the Moto Razr2 V8 Luxury Edition in the United States, exclusively through the vendor’s online retail channel. (The luxury Razr2, with 18 and 24-carat gold plating, sells for $680, perhaps in an effort to ape Nokia Corp.’s success with its high-margin Vertu fashion line. Motorola’s Web site is merely taking information from those who wish to learn more, as the device becomes available.)
The vendor also announced a slew of wireless accessories, including an updated S9-HD Bluetooth headset, among others.
As is typical with show-based early announcements, the vendor did not disclose carrier deals, pricing or geographic distribution for all but the luxury Razr2.
The news may not meet the expectations of those looking for Motorola to move decisively beyond its Razr platform.
“Motorola is sorely in need of a big phone feature leap — Koreans have zoomed ahead in display technology,” analyst Tero Kuittinen of Avian Securities LLC wrote in his RealMoney.com column on Friday. “The company needs a major product transition. It’s been nearly four years now since the Razr was introduced and Motorola has been feverishly prepping a new platform featuring large touch displays and fancy audiovisual technology. The new high-end product needs to hit the shops by summer — all other top-five vendors have launched appealing 5-megapixel camera models.”
Analyst Avi Greengart at Current Analysis, in a handset market assessment issued Friday, gave Motorola credit for the Razr2, which “has performed admirably for an expensive voice phone with over a million sold.” But for a product positioned to “rescue” Motorola, sales have performed “dismally.”