Motorola (MOT) has yet to unveil its new lineup of phones based on the Android operating system, but already analysts are placing bets on its likely success. While the new devices are likely to fetch higher prices than Motorola’s current phones—and could give the ailing handset division a much-needed boost—they probably won’t approach the popularity of the Razr, the best-seller that earlier in the decade set handset design standards, say industry analysts.
Nor are Motorola’s new handsets likely to vie directly with today’s most popular smartphones, including Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone, Palm’s (PALM) Pre, and Research In Motion’s (RIMM) BlackBerry, these experts say. Most of Motorola’s new models appear to target the mid-to-low end of the market and “won’t be competing with today’s best-selling smartphones,” says Matt Thornton, an analyst at Avian Securities.
Considering it didn’t even exist 19 years ago, the Web browser has done pretty well. No other program on a computer can do so many things — e-mail, mapping and calendars, to name a few — thanks to all the Web services now available.
And few other software markets offer as much competition as the browser business. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, after years of neglect, has seen welcome upgrades lately, but competing browsers have advanced further. The one most responsible for terminating IE’s monopoly, Mozilla Firefox, received a major update days ago, following new releases of two others, Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome, over the past two months.