10:53 AM

Motorola Unveils Flurry Of Mobile Products

Locked in a fierce battle with Nokia and Samsung, Motorola has unveiled a flurry of handsets and services designed to regain its once-dominant position.

Motorola, locked in a fierce battle with Nokia and Samsung for leadership in handsets and mobile devices, has unveiled a flurry of handsets and services designed to regain its once-dominant position. The announcements were made at the 3GSM World Congress at Cannes this week.

The devices range from sleek new designs in the manner of Motorola's successful RAZR handset to Bluetooth-equipped sunglasses developed with eyewear pacesetter Oakley. Motorola also announced the first in its "Push-to-Share" applications--a peer-to-peer file sharing application it calls "Push-to-View." The firm noted that it has 12 years experience with "Push-to-Talk" cell phone technology. Indeed, Motorola's longtime partnership with Nextel Communications in delivering Push-to-Talk technology fueled much--if not most--of Nextel's success in the marketplace.

"People want a seamless experience with technology, and Motorola is making that real by delivering unique experiences across the home, the auto, at work, and out in the world," said Motorola's Chairman and CEO Ed Zander, in a statement. "(Monday's) announcements reflect our ability to combine breakout technology leadership with stunning design."

Zander took over the top position at Motorola last year and has vowed to regain the firm's leadership in handsets and mobile devices. Most market share studies place Nokia in the first position with a slight lead over Motorola and Samsung who are battling for the second place spot.

Motorola also announced new services solutions. The firm said its MTC Kuwait is trialing what it calls the first Universal Mobile Telecommunications system, (UMTS) after making successful point-to-point video and voice calls in Kuwait. In another development, Motorola unveiled what it termed the first i-Mode handset for Europe. The i-Mode service has been wildly popular in Japan.

New marketing partnerships were also disclosed. Motorola is teaming-up with Skype Technologies to develop devices and solutions for Skype's popular VoIP service and a partnership with the GSM Association will develop low-priced handsets for emerging markets. The company said: "Motorola has committed to start delivering these products during the second quarter of 2005 at a price point below $40 and has a strategic intent to work with GSMA members to develop follow-on products at sub $30 price points."

But most of all, Motorola seems to be betting its biggest chips on a range of handsets and devices with design taking the lead position. Its new PEBL V6--a striking clam handset complete with Bluetooth and VGA camera-- attracted much attention at Cannes. And, taking advantage of the success of its RAZR handset, Motorola unveiled a special-edition, jet-black RAZR V3.

The family of sunglasses announced with Oakley form a new concept in seamless connectivity--adventure connectivity. The eyeglasses are aimed at an audience of cyclists, skateboarders, snowboarders, and rock climbers as the vanguard consumer audience.

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