Monday, October 24, 2005

More Talking about the Rokr

It seems to be open season on the Rokr. CNN/Money picks up the latest research note from American Technology Research analyst Albert Lin, who claims the Rokr is being returned at a rate of three to six times the industry average for cell phones. Lin believed this was probably due to the first customers being ever-demanding early adopters, who were disappointed with the capacity and software bugs.

Added John Bucher at Harris Nesbitt, "The more complex a product, the more likely you are going to find a return, whether there is a real defect there or not." Bucher added, "I have a sneaking suspicion that Motorola is making money on this product."

Lin commented that "There has to be some friction because I think Motorola did not want the ROKR to be hobbled with 100 song limits. I think Apple was emphatic about that because they were trying to move slowly in the mobile phone world to make sure they don't set a precedent for something that could damage iPod sales."

Ittai Kidron at CIBC World Markets remarked "The next generation of phones to have that functionality will see much more broad adoption," adding that the ROKR's sales figure "is not disappointing by any means. It's a start, and it's a good start, but there is still a long path. Don't forget the RAZR was slow for couple quarters when it came out. Things take time to marinate."

Over at Investor's Business Daily, Eddie Tapiero at Strategy Analytics said, "This is just the first generation of music capable phone. We expect a lot of improvements in future models." On the topic of bluetooth headset and sound quality, Tapiero added, "People would like to use Bluetooth in cell phones for their music as well as conversations. But they're disappointed it's in mono, not stereo."

Rob Enderle said, "People wanted something iPod-like and ended up with a design nowhere near Apple's. One of the top reasons why people like the iPod is the design." Regarding the Rokr 100 song capacity and newer phones coming out with hard drives, Enderle pointed out that "Considering how a phone gets treated, having a hard drive in them doesn't make much sense to me."

Have to agree with him. From a durability and cost perspective, hard-drive enabled handsets will probably be a niche market...