Lenovo, Verizon to Reincarnate Motorola Razr as Foldable Smartphone: Report
The Motorola Razr — as soon as the most well liked flip telephone out there — is being revived as a smartphone with a foldable display, in accordance to The Wall Street Journal.
It will probably be supplied solely by way of Verizon within the United States, probably in February, though the gadget continues to be being examined and the launch date is just not agency.
Its beginning value reportedly will probably be US$1,500.
“We can’t comment on rumors and speculation about our manufacturing partners,” Verizon spokesperson George Koroneos instructed TechNewsWorld.
That assertion may point out Lenovo is producing the foldable Motorola Razr for Verizon on an OEM foundation as a substitute of utilizing carriers as distributors.
That is perhaps clever, as “Lenovo has mostly been playing in the mid range and occasionally going higher with its own flagship devices,” remarked Ramon Llamas, a analysis director at IDC.
Unlike Apple and Samsung, Lenovo might not have the chops to push a $1,500 smartphone, Llamas instructed TechNewsWorld. He’s “a little skeptical.”
Lenovo probably has been engaged on the Motorola Razr with a foldable display for greater than a 12 months. At the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona final February, CEO Yang Yuanqing hinted that such a tool was within the works.
New Razr’s Likely Makeup
The patent, granted in March of 2018, was for “an electronic device having at least a three-part housing foldable between multiple use positions.”
It additionally has a versatile show that extends at the least alongside parts of the primary and second housing elements, and throughout the movable coupled sides. The third housing half might be moved relative to the second housing half to cowl at the least a portion of the versatile show selectively.
Consumers can pick up a laptop for between $230 and $2,200 at Best Buy, which raises the query of whether or not the rumored Razr is perhaps overpriced.
“$1,500 is quite a bit, and rivals some people’s mortgages,” Llamas noticed.
However, “I would have argued 15 years ago that people wouldn’t pay much over $500 for a phone, and we have more than doubled that,” Rob Enderle, principal analyst on the Enderle Group, instructed TechNewsWorld.
At $1,500 the revived Motorola Razr “is in the same neighborhood as Apple’s iPhone XS Max — $1,449 with 512 GB,” famous Ken Hyers, a analysis director at Strategy Analytics.
The upcoming Samsung Galaxy ‘F’ foldable smartphone “will be in the $2K range,” he mentioned.
Foldable show smartphones “will be very expensive into the early 2020s,” Hyers instructed TechNewsWorld. “The foldable display technology is new. Manufacturing is extremely complex, and yield rates on the displays are not high.”
Due to their price and restricted provides, foldable show smartphones “will not be mass market products in 2019,” he predicted.
“Barely over 1 million foldable display smartphones will ship this year, and less than 10 million in 2020,” Hyers mentioned. “Foldable display smartphones will be the ultimate unobtanium in smartphones for the next two years, and consumers who can get their hands on one will pay the high prices they command.”
Yen for Foldables
“The foldable display smartphone is the first significant major change to take place in smartphone design in a decade,” Hyers mentioned.
Manufacturers gearing up to launch smartphones with foldable screens this 12 months embrace Royole, Apple, Huawei and LG.
Foldable shows can be utilized on smartphones, tablets, and “in certain configurations, small notebook PCs,” Hyers recommended.
They “will cut across multiple categories, helping to justify [their] high price,” he mentioned.”They are a genuine Swiss Army knife of mobile devices” that may attraction to each shoppers and enterprise customers.
Release Date Speculation
The Motorola Razr is perhaps launched in February, however “I’d peg the release date as 1H 2019 — and maybe 2H 2019,” Strategy Analytics’ Hyers mentioned. “Motorola won’t be able to source enough displays in Q1 2019 to support sales of the device in February or March 2019, and possibly beyond.”
Also, Samsung “has a near monopoly on foldable displays and will take the lion’s share of these for its Galaxy F,” Hyers identified.
The timing of the announcement itself is fraught with hazards.
“A February announcement would align with a Mobile World Congress announcement, especially if Lenovo wants to take this global,” IDC’s Llamas famous. “But look at how Samsung’s already doing its own Unpacked event in February. That may take the wind out of Lenovo’s sails a bit.”
On the opposite hand, ready till September would pit Lenovo in opposition to Apple.
“Consumers that want a foldable display smartphone will not be brand loyal, particularly given the limited number of devices available,” Hyers recommended.
That will make the Motorola Razr a menace, however Samsung “is somewhat safe as they’ll have their own foldable display smartphone, the Galaxy F, and it’ll be first to market and available in greater quantities than foldable from all other vendors combed in 2019,” Hyers mentioned.
Apple “is in more danger, as they won’t have a foldable for several years yet,” he identified. “Put another way, I use an iPhone, but if someone handed me a Razr, I’d switch.”
The unique Razr “was iconic,” mentioned Llamas, “and for many, it was the aspirational mobile phone to move towards. Unless the new smartphone can replicate that aspirational feeling, it may end up getting overlooked.”