RealTime IT News

Motorola Thins Out The RAZR Line

Motorola's new line of Razr handsets is slimmer than ever, and the company hopes the they will expand the customer base of its already popular line of cell phones.

The 42-millimeter-wide Krzr (pronounced "crazer") shaves more than a centimeter off the original Razr, of which Motorola sold more than 50 million units.

Beyond its slimmer size, the Krzr will offer both GSM and CDMA versions, the latter of which includes high-speed EV-DO capabilities.

Featuring a faceplate made of magnesium, chrome and hardened glass, the Krzr also comes with a two mega-pixel camera, stereo Bluetooth audio and updated phone directory and messaging applications.

Motorola's first slider -- the Rizr.
Source: Motorola

Another new handset, the Rizr, is Motorola's first "slider" phone, allowing the user to slide a hidden keypad down for dialing.

A Motorola spokesperson said the company decided to manufacture the slider phone because it wants to compete in all form factors.

The ability to slide open the phone enables Rizr users to take landscape-oriented photos using the handset's two-megapixel camera.

The Schaumburg, Ill., company also announced two 3G Razrs, the Razr xx and Razr Maxx.

The phones, permitting high-speed music downloads and video calls, will use High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) to deliver data speeds up to 3.6MB per second, according to the statement.

Motorola also announced the Slvr L7c with EV-DO CDMA connectivity and integrated sGPS location technology.

Motorola currently is second to Finland's Nokia in handset sales, but leads South Korea's Samsung Electronics.

The phones, available globally by the end of the year, hope to attract style-conscious consumers, including women, where the smaller size could be important, according to the spokesperson.

While Motorola refused to say where the phones would first launch, financial analyst firm Cowen & Company believes the Krzr likely is first headed to China Mobile and other Asian customers.

According to Dave Chamberlain, an analyst with In-Stat, Motorola is now the leader in designing phones.

"The Razr has been very useful in improving their fortunes." However, "there is a danger in too much success," he said.

Motorola must continue introducing new products, rather than tweaking the Razr, according to the analyst.

In May, the company unveiled the Q, a smartphone cast in the Razr image but positioned to compete with the Palm Treo and RIM BlackBerry.

Monday Motorola announced it will repurchase approximately $1.2 billion of its own shares, completing a $4 billion share repurchase program it started in May.

Motorola also said it will repurchase $4.5 billion worth of additional outstanding company shares of common stock, representing around 9 percent of its market capitalization, according to a statement.

"We believe that at current price levels, Motorola shares are an attractive investment and our recent repurchases highlight our continuing confidence in Motorola's long-term growth," David Devonshire, Motorola's CFO, said in a statement.