Don’t Flip Out Yet –
This clearly indicates a Razr reboot, but there are reasons to stay skeptical.
Motorola and parent company Lenovo have invited press outlets to a product unveiling event on November 13 in Los Angeles that has enthusiasts speculating about the potential imminent announcement of a new Razr phone.
As reported byCNET, an invitation went out with taglines like “an original unlike any other, “” you’re going to flip, “and” highly anticipated unveiling of a reinvented icon. ” Accompanying the invitation was an animated image depicting the original Razr phone hinge design being peeled back to reveal another, partially obscured device that is clearly meant to look like a foldable device. Given that, it’s hard to imagine this event as anything other than a Razr event.
Despite a dearth of reliable information or confirmations, the Razr reboot has become one of the most anticipated smartphone releases among gadget enthusiasts. It’s understandable; the Razr V3 was the first cell phone to achieve pop culture icon status, thanks to aggressive, fashion-oriented marketing, among other things. More than 130 million Razr phones were sold over several years after it was announced. It’s one of only a few specific phones even today that many consumers in the general public could recall by brand name.
There have been numerous rumors from all sorts of sources — both reliable and not — that this new Razr phone has been in development . But there are a lot of reasons to be skeptical about this product announcement.
A report byThe Wall Street Journalin January claimed that Lenovo- owned Motorolaplanned to launch a new Razras a foldable phone similar in some basic ways to the Samsung Galaxy Fold. The report claimed that Motorola would produce 200, 00 0 units but that it planned to charge $ 1, 500 for the device, and that it might be exclusive to Verizon. If you’re skeptical that a carrier-exclusive phone from a low-market-share manufacturer priced at $ 1, 500 could move that many units, you’re not alone.
That report claimed the phone could launch within just a couple of months, but then it didn’t. In February, Motorola VP of Global Product Dan Dery discussed the company’s foldable phone experimentationwith Engadget. “We started to work on foldables a long time ago,” he said. At another point in the discussion, he said Motorola had “no intention of coming later than everybody else in the market.” But it has still been several months, and Samsung’s first commercial foldable phonehas already launched. And in that interview, it was clear that Motorola was still experimenting with different form factors, technologies, and solutions at a basic level, suggesting that a launch was likely not imminent anyway.
There have been numerous supposed leaked renders andpatent filings, but neither is a reliable source for information on a final product. And in one particularly concerning incident, Motorola parent Lenovo gave a presentation in May to Chinese media outlets about the upcoming Razr butappeared to re-use imageryfrom a fan concept video by Waqar Khan and show it to the outlets as if it were an internal concept for the phone. This suggested to onlookers that the company was still not very close to a final product.
Below: Images depicting Lenovo’s lifting of a fan concept for a press presentation, from Ron Amadeo’s report.
We also don’t know anything for sure about the phone’s software. Motorola has used Android in its phones lately, so that seems likely here, but it’s not a sure thing. This may not even be a smartphone. It seems unlikely that Motorola, a company with considerably fewer resources than giants like Samsung or Huawei, has arrived at a high-quality, viable, folding smartphone final product in just a few short months.
It’s possible that Motorola has abandoned the foldable concept and is launching something much less ambitious, like a dual-screen foldable flip phone , or even a feature phone that is essentially a nostalgia-focused re-tread of the original V3 design. Nokia has recently been launchingmoderntakeson classic feature phones, so that seems like a possible direction for Motorola as well.
Nevertheless, the company plans to announcesomethingin Los Angeles. Whatever it is, we’ll learn more on November 13.
Listing image byCNET