Motorola readies seven phones for India!

26 Sep

Earlier this week, Motorola invited us to a preview of their upcoming portfolio of devices that it intends to launch in this quarter in India. Obviously, we were quite excited, hoping to see at least one Android phone… Alas, that was not on the menu.

We were greeted to a sight of six low-cost devices that will form a new WX series. This series will take over from the W-series that was introduced last year and will start from approximately Rs 1,500 and go up to Rs 3,500. While the lowest end device will have a monochrome display with a colour background, the top-most one will have a 1.3 MP camera, microSD card slot and will be branded under the ROKR series. Most of these phones have FM radio, though we do not think that these devices will bring anything radically new to the table, like Samsung which has announced similar low-end phones with 10 hours talktime!

The seventh device will be the ZN300, which was announced at the beginning of this year (or probably sometime last year) and has a 3.2 MP camera and runs on the Linux Java platform that Motorola has now abandoned in its pursuit of Android. The ZN300 will be priced around Rs 8,000.

In our conversation with Faisal Siddiqui – Motorola’s country head for mobile devices in India – it became clear that the company’s plans for India are different from its ambitions elsewhere. It still sees greater value in pushing low-end products like the WX-series considering that its W-series proved to be quite popular in India.

However, we would like to point out that the W-series had a unique positioning in the market when it was launched last year with their microSD card slots even in the most basic models, hence turning them into affordable music phones. The current lot of devices will be humbled by existing phones from Samsung and LG (not to mention the numerous ‘China mobile’ phones that are sprouting up all over the place) not only on terms of features but even in the looks department. The ZN300 does have some hope as it will bring a good camphone at a decent price point but it would be a difficult road ahead for the company to sustain movement in the competitive market with such a weak portfolio.

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