Thursday, July 20, 2006

Razr hits 50 million milestone

The Chicago Tribune reports that "Motorola (MOT) announced Tuesday that it has shipped its 50 millionth Razr phone." The article asks if "there are about as many Razrs in pockets and purses across the globe as there are iPods, why hasn't Motorola seen its stock price surge like that of Apple (AAPL), considering that the Razr has redefined mobile phone chic, just as the iPod has dominated the portable music market?"

Albert Lin at American Technology Research said, "I'm sure Motorola is a little frustrated, but Motorola has done so well recently that it's getting hard to impress investors. What does Motorola have to talk [about] for life beyond the Razr?"

Lin expected that "second-quarter results for Motorola will be fine. But guidance for the third quarter could be disappointing."

Tina Teng at iSuppli though the upcoming "results will be OK and that Motorola might even strengthen its second-place position." She said, "Motorola will gain some market share."

The article notes "the big phonemakers are facing potential supply issues." According to Lin, "For the first time in the last several years, those phonemakers, which include Samsung, LG Electronics and Sony Ericsson have inventory issues."

Lin said, "After the first quarter, Samsung has a few million unsold phones and Motorola has an extra few million."

Lin pointed out that "already in Korea, new customers have received a feature-rich phone and a portable Samsung DVD player--both for free--when signing up for a new wireless service plan." He thought "deals like that are unlikely to happen in the U.S., but don't be surprised to see free gift cards as an incentive to customers."

Teng noted another issue that could benefit mobile phone shoppers, "More and more wireless carriers want customers to upgrade to phones that surf the Web, send and receive e-mail, or play music." She said, "The carriers are trying to get more people onto these services because that's where more revenue can come from."

She predicted, "the high-end phones that tap the carrier's new third-generation networks might come with favorable price tags."