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3GSM Congress. Products by Motorola
The main emphasis by the company is put on fashion models and 3G phones in 2005. Low-end solutions will traditionally be widely represented but the company will try not to emphasize them and refuse active promotion. The operators' announcement about the launch of Motorola C 117 (a copy of С116) confirms it. The company said no word about it and an operators association not only announced it but also told it was he cheapest solution and would attract new subscribers. And again the matter concerns a low-end solution while the price of the question is only 45 USD.
The whole 2005 will pass under the badge of operator contracts; here Motorola's positions have really strengthened especially considering Sony Ericsson and Samsung weakening (we mean operator contracts but not the popularity of products). One of the steps towards operators became the launch of Motorola E378i being the first device by the company supporting I-mode. The phone is a complete copy of Motorola E375.
The main direction of the GSM product line development is upgrading existing models up to the new functional level. The company does not try to refuse old solutions even not the most successful ones and develops them. For instance, Motorola v560 is a complete copy of Motorola v400p, there are no differences. A taciturn phrase that the phone provides a wireless roaming with a ground connection line means the phone may play a role of a usual wire phone at home. The way it is realized remains unclear and it seems that is necessary to buy extra equipment. And the company kept it back decently.
Various gadgets became a part of exhibitions. Here is a helmet with a bluetooth, sunglasses and a plain jacket with an integrated player and audio system (the last one resembles a military costume in some way).
Triplets were a well-taken idea of the company and it will be used for many years. For example, Motorola v 360 provides an integrated antenna for such phones. That is more curious from the point of view that Motorola v635 boast with it but is positioned higher. Battery life has been increased in Motorola v360 (the expanded battery is present optionally). A TransFlash card connector appeared. The presence of EDGE class 10 is an evident advantage but the camera integrated is only VGA. That's hard to suppose how the situation will form in December 2005 but most likely the model will cost 220-240 USD. This is a good example of how the functionality of phones will have grown by the end of the year.
Considering the previous year and a wavy launch of models we can surely suppose v360 will get a copy in a classical form-factor. The device seems an adequate replacement of Motorola C650 and is to appear 1.5 or 2 months earlier than Motorola v360.
A cheaper solution is a renewal for Motorola v220 that got the number of v235. There are no memory cards and the internal memory forms 10 MB, an internal screen has increased (128x160 but cSTN, 65K). This is a typical low-end solution of this autumn. The price will evidently be about 120-140 USD at the release moment otherwise it will be uninteresting.
Many products bearing the names of exotic islands were left behind the exhibition and they will form the backbone of the product line. In September the company either forms its product line or starts loosing its position on the market and no any operator contracts will help. As for me, Motorola keeps a number of very interesting middle-class models that are rich in new solutions. That is impossible to say the company has shown the strongest products and that is only a part of the solutions. The animation will start in the autumn and if everything is all right we'll see the renewed products in the 4Q 2005.
The company considers the premium segment one of the directions for development. Its previous attempts to fix its positions here were unsuccessful and a low-quality marketing spoiled good even revolutionary products. The company had a good example of Nokia keeping the same level of its fashion products price for years but solving momentary tasks they refused it. Your obedient servant has heard the same story for several times. It told the following - "we have accounted all the mistakes for this product and it will be fashion, expensive and the price will be constant and won't fall in the course of the year". In the Motorola v80 case I took this on trust and an excellent fashion device promised to become successful in the premium segment. Then a fast fall of the price happened and the device lost attraction for the target group. A slight sales splash didn't indemn the fashion blow. And as if having forgotten this experience the company launches a unique in design Motorola V 3 Razr having no copies on the market. The first month of sales shows a great potential of the model and then … Have you guessed what? Yes, right you are, a regular fall of the price and actually significant one (now we do not see it but soon the device will get very wide-spread). The company launches a whole line of new fashion devices and each of them will be greatly demanded for a very short period of time and then price falls and the device will be sold widely for short. At the moment the company thinks that at the absence of direct rivals new models will attract attention and keep customers of various price levels. And I consider this statement wrong. The design is stressed in the phones and their functionality is secondary. This is the way of Nokia that leads not to the increase of the market share but most likely to the contrary.
Starting from December 2005 the first device of a new Blade line will appear and that is V8 SLVR. A black metallic body, V3-like keypad and a classical form-factor. The presence of a memory card is an evident plus but the camera is only VGA. That is a pleasant fashion solution and not more. And these devices in various price groups form the second branch of Motorola development.
In autumn we will see another fashion device called V6 PEBL. A "unique" opening system is used here and it is called dual hinge. Only Motorola MPx opened in two ways before it and we can't say if the model really corresponds with this statement since we had no real examples. In all the rest V6 almost fully copies the V3 functionality with some slight additions. A voice dialing not depending on the pronunciation becomes a standard function and a necessity of preliminary entering voice tags comes off. For instance, the same function is realized in Motorola A 780 reviewed on the site.
Manufacturing 3G phones becomes the third branch. The company has strong positions here, the products are interesting and various. The popularity of the Е1000 model comes to Е1060 also and this device is interesting both in design and functionality. That is a good renewal.
Model Е1120 will be launched only in the end of the year and that is the strongest device in the company line. In particular it will be equipped with a 3-megapixel camera with automatic focus, a separate application will allow using the device as a bar-code scanner in shops. Let's add here two stereo loudspeakers, typically wide multimedia possibilities (here is even an integrated video editor) and thus we get an interesting model. We would really like to see it on the market and not repeat the destiny of the number of previous season devices.
Finally, model А1010 is a straight descendant of a Symbian-smartphone А1000 that was reviewed on out site. The company integrated a two-megapixel camera, changed a joystick and a navi button. There are also slight changes in the software. The device is to appear in the end of the 3Q. The price is about the same level as of A1000 and the model is mainly oriented on the promotion in the operators' networks.
Glancing over the represented models we can surely say the year won't be easy for the company but interesting. Reorganization of the product lines, the appearance of principally new ways for development will renew the company and give users new interesting models. Many of you could have not noticed that the year 2004 became a year of soul-searching for many manufacturers. That is the change of Nokia strategy, first signs of it in Motorola, Siemens crisis. In this conditions Motorola did not loose the development vector and continued working on some perspective branches and some experience in this branches was shown in Cannes.
Published 16 February 2005
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