Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘motorola

Need a New Razr?

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The original Motorola Razr flip phone came out in July 2004. It was thin and streamlined compared to most mobile feature phones of its time.

And now it’s back, this time with a 6.2″ touchscreen that folds like a clamshell, and only costs $1,500 clams running Android.

Early reviews suggest the new Razr has a much improved folding experience over what we’ve witnessed thus far in the folding phones. I still wonder if this is a problem looking for hinge…err, solution.

If your heart rate just went up, you might want to try the new Apple Research app that will allow U.S. users to enroll in one of three new health studies — one on women’s health, one on heart and movement, and a hearing study.

Developers: GitHub released its first native mobile app and improved notifications at the GitHub Universe event. GitHub Actions/Packages have also moved out of beta, and the company is also improving its code search.

Today’s funding: Password manager 1Password has raised a $200M Series A led by Accel, and will use its new capital to grow its enterprise footprint. And app-based loyalty card and analytics firm Punchh raised $40M to continue its expansion.

Written by turbotodd

November 14, 2019 at 10:50 am

The Razr’s Edge

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2004 just called, and it wants its Motorola Razr phone back.

Yes, everything old is new again, and The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Motorola Razr will be attempting a comeback.

Only this time around, the Razr will apparently be a smartphone with a foldable screen and a…gasp…$1,500 price tag.

This time around, Lenovo Group will be leading the way, and partnering with Verizon on an exclusive deal to start selling the new Razrs “as soon as February.” 

The backstory: Lenovo bought the Motorola Mobility handset business from Google in 2014.

The Journal story reminds us the Razr V3 flip phone was first released in 2004, but its market success was rapidly snuffed out by the introduction of the Apple iPhone.

Samsung is also reported to be working on a foldable smartphone.

I had a Razr back in the day, and it was a cool device for its time…then again, so was the late 1990s Motorola StarTAC. Eventually, I dropped mine in a river down in Gruene, Texas, and I don’t think any amount of white race ever brought it back to life.

And on the subject of iPhones and apps, App Annie’s 2019 State of Mobile report is out, and coverage via ZDNet has a few headlines.

First, App Annie expects consumers to spend $120 billion on app stores in 2019, a spending clip that is “5X the growth rate of the global economy.”

Next, global app downloads topped 194 billion in 2018. up 35 percent from 2016 — and it was emerging markets that led the growth. And lest you think everyone is playing Fortnite all day and all night, about 65 percent of total global downloads are non-game apps.

Social and communications apps account for 50 percent of time spent in apps, a number that grew 45 percent from 2016 to 2018.

And for those concerned about mobile commerce, global time spent in shopping apps was up 60 percent last year, reaching some 18 billion hours.

18 billion hours…shopping in mobile apps…last year…

Put that in your virtual shopping cart and let that just sit there until…well, until you get your new Motorola Razr (or, you could find an original for as little as $17.99 U.S. on eBay!)

Written by turbotodd

January 16, 2019 at 3:43 pm

Posted in 2019, smartphone

Tagged with ,

Google Motorola: The Razr’s Edge?

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I’m back from vacation, but judging from news the last week, I should have stayed at the beach!

Actually, returning home over the weekend wasn’t all bad, as I had the opportunity to see the PGA Championship play out in real time, and the final major of the year was a golfing feast. 

Tiger Woods missed the cut (one of the rare times) on Friday, and through the weekend PGA Tour newbie Keegan Bradley outplayed Jason Duffner in a three-hole playoff to win his first PGA tournament AND major.  It was some breathtaking stuff at the Atlanta Athletic Club, the last four holes of which would terrify even the most seasoned of golfers.

There was little such drama in other sports news, as the English Premier League kicked off its season over the weekend in spite of the recent riots in London. 

Last year’s EPL winner Manchester United came out roaring with a 2-1 win over West Bromwich (with striker Wayne Rooney making the first goal of the season for Man U…but not likely his last). I’m very happy to have English football back in action, even as American football season is around the corner.

But now it’s Monday, and it’s back to business –- particularly if you’re the Google, which this morning did some headline terrorizing of its own as it announced its $12+ billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

We’ll get to the substance of the deal in a moment, but let’s concentrate, for a moment, shall we, on form: Google CEO Larry Page made the announcement via a blog post in “The Official Google Blog.”

That’s what I love about Google.  No big fanfare or fancy hotels. 

Just a simple blog post from the CEO: Oh yeah, by the way, we’re making the largest acquisition we’ve made to date (nearly four times as large as their acquisition of DoubleClick), and we’re making it in a blog post and on a conference call.

No need for fancy hotel conference rooms and F2F hobnobbing with the press -– I’ve got a company to run and a major deal to oversee, and other bloggers will do the job for me in getting the word out!

So, what’s the general spin thus far?

  • This deal gives Google its own hardware play for the smartphone set, even as it strengthens Google’s ability to fend of patent wars by its competition by giving it control of the Motorola Android patent portfolio
  • Google gains some enterprise credibility as it works to marginalize RIM and Windows Phone 7, and Microsoft is left without a hardware partner at the mobility dance (and could be compelled to outright buy Nokia)
  • Google gets the added juice of Motorola’s cable TV platform, which considering the recent plight of Google TV, could be an added boost to help Google with its CATV advertising platform (although content licensing will continue to be an issue)

Questions inevitably arise as to whether or not the deal will past regulatory muster, but ReadWriteWeb’s Dan Rowinski suggests it will, mainly due to Apple’s incredibly strong position in the smartphone space. 

He writes:

There is no way that regulators can look at what Google makes from Android, the worldwide smartphone market and the juggernaut that Apple has become and say that Google’s acquisition of Motorola is in any way anti-competitive.

Will the deal be good for consumers?  In the short-term position, and strictly from a competitive standpoint, probably so.

But I sense another platform war heating up, one which is reminiscent of the OS wars of the late 1990s. 

Only this time, due to the proprietary nature of mobile smartphone and handset providers –- combined with the fact that the only viable options are iOS and Android (Windows Phone 7 and RIM QNX are way behind in smartphone share, by comparison) -– consumers may soon face a kind of Hobson’s choice, albeit with two choices as opposed to one.

In that scenario, consumers ultimately lose, because four choices would be better than two. 

But, the marketplace has spoken, and the race is on: iOS v. Android.  May the best platform win…but not by too much!

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