Motorola will launch at least 20 smartphones across the
globe in 2010. A number of key products will receive a major
marketing spend in the UK and Europe, including the Backflip and
the Quench, announced today (15 February).
Melissa Gardner, VP consumer experience marketing at Motorola,
told Mobile: 'We will be rolling out both devices in Quarter One
of 2010. The target consumer is the smartphone user who
appreciates a more innovative design.'
Motorola has not announced specific carriers for either phone,
but Gardner said she was sure big retailers in Europe would be
interested in ranging the devices. The company has worked closely
with Carphone Warehouse in the past. The USA is a largely carrier
led market for devices, but Europe is a 50:50 split between
carriers and retailers, so Motorola is talking to both channels.
Gardner also confirmed that Motorola was working with Google on a
'direct consumer device', but would not be drawn further.
Motorola had largely withdrawn from the European market last year
until the launch of the Dext and the Milestone towards the end of
2009. When asked how Motorola would get back on the European
consumer's radar, Gardner replied: 'Our brand awareness is still
high - third in terms of consumer recognition, so we are not
starting from ground zero. That recognition, plus innovative
devices, is the way back. Motorola is good at coming back.'
The company is firmly pinning its hopes on the Android platform.
'It's the fastest growing operating system,' said Gardner. 'It
gives us a lot of flexibility and the apps are driving it
forward. We have our Motorblur system residing on top, as you
need to differentiate on service as well as design.'
Gardner admitted that consumers need educating on the services
that Android and Motorblur can provide. She said: 'A lot of
effort is going into building up retail relationships again,
because we pretty much pulled out of Europe. We've got more
Motorola agents coming back to train up retailers. So we are
building things back up again.'
However, she added that online was also a key area for promoting
awareness of Motorola brands. 'Consumers want to know what others
are saying about devices, so they look at blogs, reviews,
retailer and manufacturer websites, so that will be a huge part
of how we market products.'
Motorola has not announced prices for the Backflip or the Quench.
Gardner said the Backflip would be a 'mid-range' device, similar
to the Dext. The backflip design provides more room to access the
keypad (it also includes a touchscreen). One innovation is a
'backtrack' feature on the reverse of the screen, which allows
the users to scroll without the finger obscuring the screen.
The Quench was described as a sister product of the Dext in terms
of functionality, but the manufacturer has introduced a pinch and
zoom feature for the touchscreen and installed flashlight as