Poor Motorola. Reports say that they’re considering selling off their handset unit. I’m no financial analyst, but the optimist in me says that a company that was once world-class can be world-class again with some hard work, vision and leadership.
So when did things go wrong? Basically, when Moto failed to evolve after their big hit. The RAZR was a breakthrough design, and there it sat. And sat. The SLVR was a re-packaging job for people who preferred a candy-bar form factor to a hinged design. The SLVR is the phone that I still own. For the record, I’m still not sold on getting any type of smart phone. I came very close to getting a Nokia N82 as an upgrade (without a data plan) but ultimately decided that $500+ was too much for a device that tends to occasionally tumble around on the concrete.
So Motorola…where was the high-res camera when you needed it? Or an upgraded display? How about a graphics user interface that looks like it’s from this century? Why cumbersome dongles instead of a 3.5mm headphone jack for music playback? How about a non-smart phone with a querty keyboard for heavy texters? And it seemed to take forever to get different color versions to get done. Oh, and good luck getting an unlocked Motorola besides places like TigerDirect. If the carriers are constraining the design, why not establish a retail channel for unlocked phones? People like choice.
It’s all salvageable. The RAZR2 V8/V9 points the way. I still have my Startac in a drawer somewhere – I can’t part with a truly timeless design. I for one am rooting for them and hope they keep the spark of innovation alive.