Motorola Unveils New Products Amid Losses In Handset Biz

Cell phone maker Motorola Inc. announced several new products this week at the CTIA Wireless confab in Orlando, Fla., designed to reinvigorate its flagging RAZR line and reclaim some of its eroding market share, although it declined to offer details on marketing plans.

In partnership with Verizon Wireless, Motorola unveiled the MOTORAZR maxx VE, available exclusively via Verizon Wireless stores and at Verizon's Web site beginning April 24. The handset is the next-generation version of the once wildly popular MOTORAZR, with expanded broadband, Bluetooth and multimedia capabilities and internal memory of more than 60 MB.

The phone handset will retail for $199.99 after a $50 rebate with a two-year Verizon contract.

The companies also announced a partnership to provide an auto audio kit that gives customers access to digital music and phone calls through their car's sound system. The Motorola Automotive Music & Hands-free System T605 will be out on April 6 and will retail for $149.99.



Earlier this week, Motorola announced other new handsets and product lines that will work on other service carrier's networks, such as the MC35 Enterprise Digital Assistant which initially will be offered to AT&T's wireless business customers. The PDA, which operates on the GSM mobile phone standard, has GPS, Wi-Fi, push-to-talk calling, and Bluetooth capability, along with a digital camera and a bar-code reader.

Motorola also introduced four GSM handsets, including the W218 with an FM radio and the W380 flip-phone, a multi-media messaging handset that harkens back to the company's Star-Tac glory days, as well as four CDMA handsets with a focus on mobile entertainment.

The product introductions come a week after Motorola pre-announced disappointing first-quarter 2007 financial results that showed a loss in its handset business. Citigroup telecommunications equipment analyst Daryl Armstrong wrote in a research report that the company's best hope for a turnaround in the immediate term will have to come from their new products. Meanwhile, Motorola and its partners have to find a way to clear up excess inventory of KRZR handsets of between 2 and 3 million, Armstrong estimates, which is another drag on the company's earnings.

While Motorola tries to generate some buzz around its new products, it faces increased competition from rivals Samsung and Nokia in its mature and emerging markets, respectively, Armstrong wrote.

Next story loading loading..