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Motorola to Revive the RAZR with Foldable Display

by Ken Hyers | 1月 17, 2019

Smartphone maker Motorola is looking to enter the premium smartphone segment by reviving its decade-old RAZR, this time with a foldable display. Motorola isn’t the first (or second or third) smartphone vendor to announce a foldable display smartphone for 2019, but by introducing it as a new RAZR, one of the most iconic phones of the pre-smartphone era, it is sure to gain attention.

The new RAZR will, in the United States, be offered exclusively by Verizon. Given the limited volumes of foldable displays that Motorola is likely to be able to source for the RAZR, it’s unlikely that the vendor would have been able to meet production for more operators in the market.

Price too will be a stumbling block for many subscribers, with an expected retail price of $1,500, making it more expensive than an iPhone XS MAX with 512GB. That said, the price may end up looking cheap as Strategy Analytics research indicates that the first foldable display smartphones will likely have a retail price of at least $2,000 or more, which is in the neighborhood of where we expect Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy “F” (or Foldable) will land.

Motorola foldable filing

The exact configuration of Motorola’s new RAZR is not yet known. The original RAZR was a clamshell device. However patent filing by Lenovo (Motorola’s parent) from 2018 indicate that Motorola’s first foldable may be similar to that of Samsung’s Galaxy F, opening like a book, rather than flipping open like a clamshell.

The new RAZR will be entering a crowded field; already Samsung, Huawei, LG and others have announced that they will introduce a foldable display smartphone in 2019. Based on Strategy Analytics’ extensive discussions with smartphone vendors, display panel and component suppliers and others in the supply chain, the actual volumes of foldable display smartphones available for sale in 2019 will be extremely small. In fact a foldable display smartphone will be the ultimate device status symbol in 2019, with just a fraction of a percent of total smartphones for sale in 2019 having foldable displays.

Strategy Analytics’ Device Technology practice has extensive research covering device display technology, resolution and aspect ratios. Clients can access that research here.

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