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5/15/2007
03:48 PM
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Motorola Seeks To Recapture Its Mojo With New Phone Blitz

Motorola is building on its current platforms and improving music, multimedia, voice fidelity, messaging, and data handling capabilities across multiple handsets lines.

Motorola unveiled a batch of features and upgrades for its mobile phones Tuesday as it seeks to regain its momentum in the highly competitive wireless area.

Motorola is building on its current platforms -- particularly on its Razr cell phone brand -- as it extends existing capabilities. But the company also is breaking new ground as it improves music, multimedia, voice fidelity, messaging, and data handling across multiple handsets.

"This focused new product portfolio further advances Motorola's goal of bringing the ultimate mobile experience to customers around the globe," said Ed Zander, Motorola chairman and CEO, at Tuesday's Webcast in New York City.

The unveiling comes a few days after billionaire investor Carl Icahn made an unsuccessful attempt to upstage Zander at Motorola's annual shareholders meeting, and as handset market leader Nokia said it was increasing its market share lead over Motorola.

The broad sweep of new Motorola handsets was led by the Razr2, which will be available for major wireless networks -- both GSM and EVDO CDMA -- worldwide beginning in July. The thin phone is even slimmer in its new incarnation, which is 2 millimeters thinner than the existing Razr. The handset's video screens are improved, too, and Motorola said its CrystalTalk technology enhances the Razr's voice fidelity.

Users who had complained about small storage space for music downloads will get storage capable of holding 1,000 songs in the 2-Gbyte Razr2 memory.

Motorola boasted about the device's speedy ARM 11 processor, which makes it possible to download a song in a few seconds. At the Webcast, a Motorola spokesman took the opportunity to knock the soon-to-be-released iPhone, saying users downloading songs on the Apple phone will need "to be very patient" as he compared the Motorola phone with the iPhone.

Another innovation on the Razr2 is Google's mobile search technology.

Motorola also unveiled additional enhancements to other phones. Handset product lines including the Z8, Moto Q, and Rokr feature beefed up multimedia and messaging capabilities. The Z8, for example, will be shipped with The Bourne Identity, a full-length movie pre-loaded on a microSD card. Some Rokr models will be offered with a Napster feature for music downloading.

The phones will be offered worldwide on a staggered basis with several models to be launched initially in one global region, then gradually rolled out around the world as various national cell phone service providers offer them.

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