Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Down to wire for Motorola's new phones

The Chicago Tribune writes that while the competition is trying to steal away market share from Motorola's Razr this holiday season, "a few highly anticipated Motorola phones--all high-end, fashionable models--have been no-shows" so far. Mike Walkley at Piper Jaffray said, "You have several phones that are late. We expected them to be out by now."

Motorola has experienced painful delays in the past, but the Razr is still riding high and it is expected to be launched by Verizon in the next week or so. Roger Entner at Ovum said if this happens, "Santa will be nice to Motorola."

The long-awaited Moto models that are still MIA in the U.S. are the Slvr and Pebl. John Jackson at Yankee Group mentioned every extra day is lost revenue, and said "Time is getting tight." The Pebl is expected to launched by T-Mobile in mid-December.

According to Entner and Albert Lin at American Technology Research, the Pebl has been delayed due to technical problems. Reportedly the handset's "hinge opens so quickly, the momentum can thrust it out of a user's hands." Motorola is also rumored to be having trouble with certain chips.

Very important to Motorola's Q4 fortunes is the launch of the Razr for Verizon. Walkley remarked, "There is a huge pent-up demand." Holding up the phone is supposedly signal glitches.

Entner noted the Razr is also a big winner for network operators and estimated "the Razr makes up at least 10 percent of Cingular's phone sales. High-end phones usually comprise only about 1 percent of sales."

Commenting on the entry of Razr wannabes, Lin noted "It will be a tough fight for Samsung and other Razr competitors. He said the Razr "has become the iPod of cell phones."