Motorola, might not have licked the problem of making user-friendly interfaces, but one can easily applaud their new designs. And if the first five weeks of the fourth quarter 2004 are any indication, the company is off to a great start and is likely to have a wonderful Christmas. Santa perhaps will grant them the wish to keep its distance from Samsung, the one company that is truly breathing down on Motorola’s neck.
“We have the best product line-up in many years. We’re poised to take market share in many areas,” Motorola CEO Ed Zander recently boasted. “We’re excited about our position. Motorola is cool again.” (Has no one told this man about the v600 and v710 recalls? Or more recently the problems with A630, which was launched with much fanfare and now is off the air? A630 Review here!) Nevertheless, former Sun President’s swagger and posturing is well justified.
Samsung, Sony, Nokia and LG are some of the names that are likely to introduce new handsets ahead of the crucial holiday season, however I feel they might have missed the early shoppers. A lot of folks have started buying Motorola phones, and you can actually see that on the streets. (Even the ladies are toting the Moto flips.) The new phone introductions from the fore mentioned companies have been relatively low.
“With more than a month of 4Q04 complete, we believe Motorola’s business is trending towards the high end of its guidance range of $9.3-$9.6B. We are looking for revenues of $9.55B (+11% QoQ) and EPS of $0.25,” writes Mark Sue, analyst with RBC Capital Markets. Motorola released 10 new handsets this quarter with another 10 slated to be unveiled before year-end. Sue writes, “Elsewhere, we believe Motorola will have fully restocked its V710 series at Verizon by next week. Motorola is also seeing strong momentum for its 3G handsets.” Motorola has a 3G handset presence in all of the major European carriers offering 3G service including Hutchinson, Orange and Vodafone, which announced its 3G service yesterday.
And there is RAZR, which is already winning design awards. It has the potential of being a possible monster hit on its hands, and Motorola is likely to be unable to meet demand for the “razor thin” flip phone. “That superthin metallic look is now in Motorola labs and could be found in two new lines of mobile phones next year,” Ron Garriques, president of Motorola’s personal communications sector, based in Libertyville told The Chicago Daily Herald. “We really hit on a winner with RAZR. It’s very unique, sharp, edgy and metal.”
“Motorola has had a nice tailwind over the past year – a fresh product line, strong handset demand growth and Nokia’s missteps,” John Slack, an analyst with Chicago-based Morningstar told The Daily Herald. “It will be interesting to see how they fare going against a retrenched Nokia in a tougher market.”