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Motorola Krave Has Eye on iPhones

Motorola's Krave
The Krave (Motorola)

Motorola's newest mobile phone, the Krave, features a touch screen navigation system that is similar to the iPhone.

"This [Krave] is a knockout combination of multimedia and phone," Motorola's Ken Hallman, a vice president, told InternetNews.com.

"We are redefining the touch experience and expanding the category with Krave." Hallman said users can access features, text and picture messages without opening the device by using the interactive flip screen touch capabilities. The Krave dual-touch design lets users tap into services off its clear flip top as well as the handset panel screen.

"The clear, interactive flip is really an amazing piece of science and technology, and a breakthrough in how people can use a touch phone," said Hallman.

One mobile analyst is not impressed, and thinks the Krave Zn4 device is not as feature-rich as Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) popular handset as well as Research in Motion's (NASDAQ: RIMM) BlackBerry Storm.

"This [the Krave] has nice features but it's not a groundbreaking device by any means," Ryan Reith, senior mobile analyst, IDC, told InternetNews.com.

"It's just not quite there."

As for the touch screen, Reith noted that Motorola has been selling the feature in China with its Ming device for several years.

But he's not counting the device out. Krave could still find a strong user niche among Verizon customers, which offers music, video and entertainment services, said Reith. The handset offers up easy access to VZ NavigatoSM1r, the carrier's GPS offering, as well as its V CAST Music with Rhapsody music and V CAST Mobile TV services. Verizon Wireless currently sells nine Motorola phones. The list includes two smartphones, the Motorola Q and Q9C, and the Motorola Adventure u750, a push-to-talk device.

Motorola also cited the visual voice mail feature, which is a new Verizon Wireless service. The service lists voice messages as text so users can choose which ones to listen to or delete, without having to dial into a mailbox or listen to voice prompts.

Those new features, said Reith, could drive big revenue for the carrier, especially if it were to lower the $149 handset cost, with a two-year contract obligation, down to $100. Monthly access packages for TV, video and music range from $13 to $15 per month , visual voice is $2.99 a month and the GPS is $9.99 monthly.

"They [Verizon Wireless} could give this away and make a decent return."