Bloomberg News

Motorola Says China Unicom to Start Razr Sales This Month

November 07, 2011

(Updates with price detail in second paragraph.)

Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., the mobile-phone maker that’s being bought by Google Inc., said China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. will start sales of its new Android-based Razr smartphone in China this month.

The Razr smartphone, which was unveiled last month in New York, will be sold for more than 4,000 yuan ($631), Frank Meng, president of Greater China for Motorola Mobility, said in an interview in Beijing today. He declined to forecast sales for the device in China.

China, the world’s largest mobile phone market with 952 million users, is a key battleground for Motorola Mobility as it brings back the Razr years after the slim flip phone lost its spot as the top-selling U.S. handset to devices that allow users to surf the Web to download games or videos. The company is betting the revival of a brand that sold more than 100 million units can challenge Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

“We’re clearly competing against iPhone in this class of device,” said Shen Bin, Asia Pacific vice president of portfolio and device product management at the mobile device business of Motorola Mobility. “That’s our target and we are confident in this product.”

Exceeding 2010 Sales

Motorola sold more smartphones in China in the first half of this year than it did in all of last year, according to Meng. The company introduced 40 smartphone models in the Asian nation in the past two years.

The original Razr was introduced in 2004. Apple shook up the industry with its iPhone in 2007.

Samsung Electronics Co. became the world’s biggest smartphone maker last quarter, pushing Apple into second place, as its phone shipments more than tripled owing to the popularity of devices built on Google’s Android software, including the Galaxy S II, according to the market research firm IDC.

The new version of Motorola’s Razr, which has a 4.3-inch touch screen and is 7.1 millimeters (a quarter-inch) thick, was unveiled by Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha at a press conference in New York Oct. 18. The Razr runs on Google’s Android Gingerbread operating system and is upgradeable to the next version of the program, called Ice Cream Sandwich.

In August, Google, the biggest maker of smartphone software, agreed to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in its largest acquisition, gaining mobile patents and expanding in the hardware business.

--Edmond Lococo. Editors: Subramaniam Sharma, Suresh Seshadri.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Edmond Lococo in Beijing at elococo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net


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