Lenovo-owned Motorola is playing the nostalgia card. The company recently released a teaser video that takes viewers back to the early aughts, when flip phones were all the rage and Motorola's RAZR was the most popular kid in high school.
Is Lenovo about to bring back this iconic flip phone in the era of do-it-all smartphones?
Lenovo Tech World is a small, one-day event scheduled for June 9 in San Francisco. Lenovo's handset division is expected to reveal some new hardware, but there's been little hint of what it might be until now.
The video, posted to YouTube late last week, features teens walking the halls snapping selfies and sending messages with their trusty Motorola RAZR. The video's tagline reads, "Flip back to the RAZR days of yesteryear and get ready for the future."
It would be folly to think Lenovo is actually going to pull a Frankenstein and bring the RAZR we remember back to life. No one buys flip phones anymore. In fact, most carriers in the US offer a single flip phone and only expect a small group of users to buy them. Big brands such as LG and Samsung hardly bother to make new flip phones each year.
Motorola, er, Lenovo plans to bring back the RAZR in name only as a ploy to rejuvenate sagging handset sales.
In 2004, Motorola was, along with Nokia, king of the mobile phone world.
The RAZR pushed sales of more than 100 million. Motorola later had another hit with the Droid-branded Android smartphone sold via Verizon Wireless back in 2009. The company sold a slew of Droid RAZR phones with Verizon in 2011 and 2012.
It's been downhill for Motorola since then. The company eventually split in two. Google picked up the firm's handset business and later sold it to Lenovo.
Lenovo hasn't don't too much with Motorola. Under Google's ownership, Motorola adopted a new strategy targeting the entry-level and mid-range markets with the Moto E and Moto G, respectively. The company's Moto X flagship has been widely lauded since its 2013 debut, but the phone never sold as well as Motorola hoped.
Lenovo continued that strategy for a while, but it appears that change is at hand. Earlier this year, Lenovo announced plans to drop the Motorola name entirely. Moving forward, its handsets will carry the "Moto" brand.
Lenovo clearly believes the RAZR brand has enough clout to garner consumers' attention. If this is truly the company's thinking, the phone it reveals June 9 had better be fantastic.Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio