MWC 2008: Motorola: Underwhelms

Things aren't getting any better for the struggling manufacturer.

Oh dear oh dear, things aren’t getting any better for Motorola at the Mobile World Congress are they…

Sales down 38 per cent, market position falling, CEO resigning, new CEO babysitting the handset division – solution: a super showing at MWC; reality: small selection of pants.

Tittering somewhere between complete disaster and practical joke, what Motorola has unveiled this week is beyond troubling. It’ll keep it brief, because – well, nothing here is worth a considerable amount of text.

The dubious highlight of the announcements is the ‘Z6w’ slider, a quad band (no 3G) handset based on the Z6 announced in May which does nothing more than thrown WiFi into this old model. Everything else, the 2MP camera, the Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP, the small 2in QVGA display, the miniscule 64MB of onboard memory and microSD expansion slot are all unaltered. You read that right, this is the highlight.

Not strictly a mobile phone, but appearing at MWC nevertheless because it’s other handsets – the E8 and Z10 – were previously announced, is the ‘DH01n’. This is an upgrade to the DH01 which adds a GPS receiver into the DVB-H mobile TV device and like its predecessor has a 4.3in widescreen display, support for video playback at up to 25fps and the ability to record TV or play directly from SD cards. No details on size, weight or price were released and this seems extremely niche.

Capitulating this farce are the ‘W181’ and ‘W161’ two ultra-low end dual band candybars, both with small, square 128 x 128 pixels screens, the former in colour, the latter in monochrome (really!). Each sports an FM radio, no camera and, well… that’s it. They’ll arrive sometime in Q1 – wait with baited breath.

In sum, I’m tempted to see this as the clearest proof yet that Motorola isn’t interested in holding onto its handset division…

Motorola UK

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