Motorola introduces nine new mobile phones, hopes to spark turnaround

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Illinois-based company said the new phones would sell at "an affordable price point."

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. -- Motorola Inc., badly in need of hit products to spark a turnaround, announced nine new handsets Thursday that the cell-phone manufacturer said will be available this quarter.

Among them is a luxury version of the Razr2, the latest successor to its once top-selling line. The Razr2 V8 is being touted as a potential holiday gift with gold-plated accents, snakeskin texture, ultra-slim design and storage of up to 1,000 songs, among other features. It costs $250 to $300.

The company said four of the seven new W-series phones -- the W160, W180, W213 and W377 -- feature FM radio, which requires headphones. Six of the handsets contain Motorola's proprietary CrystalTalk technology, which automatically adjusts audio for clear calls in noisy environments.

"These devices are designed for consumers who are purchasing their first mobile phone, for those who simply want to talk and message on an easy-to-use phone, or for those who are looking to upgrade a basic phone," said Stu Reed, president of Motorola Mobile Devices.

The Schaumburg, Ill.-based company said the new phones would sell at "an affordable price point."

It also introduced the Moto U9, a lightweight phone and music player with clamshell design and stereo Bluetooth wireless technology, a two-megapixel camera with 8x zoom and multiple messaging capabilities. The phone is pegged for introduction in Asia, Latin America and Europe, but not in the United States.

Motorola executives told analysts last month that a series of innovative new cell phones would help break the company out of a slump that has coincided with a sales decline for the once-iconic Razr.

Shares in the company rose 19 cents to $18.89 in Thursday trading, still down 8 percent for the year.

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