Motorola Offers Music-Camera Phone To Succeed Razr

The MotoRizr Z3 debuts this week exclusively through T-Mobile.
Motorola, which is searching for a successor to its popular Razr phone, introduced on Wednesday the MotoRizr Z3, a slider phone that packs a still and video camera and a digital music player.

Available exclusively through T-Mobile USA, the MotoRizr Z3 has built-in access to the wireless carrier's online photo service called MyAlbum. The feature is meant to lure subscribers into loading pictures and video to the site, and share them online with others. The service requires a data plan.

Motorola saw a slowdown in the second half of 2006, after beginning the year strong from the success of the Razr in most markets worldwide in 2005, according to analyst firm Gartner. Motorola saw a considerable inventory build-up among distributors in the fourth quarter, as a result of a somewhat cold reception for the Krzr K1 and Motofone, and the late shipping of some products.

Nevertheless, the company's strong performance in the first half of the year helped Motorola increase its market share to 21.1% from 17.7% in 2005, Gartner said. Motorola is the world's second largest handset maker. Nokia is the current sales leader.

Motorola is hoping to pass the Razr crown over to its Rizr line of phones. The Z3 sports lots of features, including a 2.0 megapixel camera with 8x zoom, a camera light, and external button for taking pictures and video. In addition, the phone has a built-in digital music player with a slot for an optional 2GB microSD flash memory card for storing tunes, pictures, and video. There's also Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.

The phone carries a retail price of $250, but T-Mobile is offering it to subscribers for $100, which includes a $50 mail-in rebate.

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