CES phones excite less than Motorola’s China prospects

January 12, 2010

motorolachinaphonepicUnlike last year’s Consumer Electronics Show, where Palm’s Pre phone, grabbed all the attention, wireless was seen as a bit of an also-ran at the 2010 gadgetfest.

Yes there was plenty of wireless news at CES, including AT&T’s announcement of plans to sell seven new smartphones, Verizon Wireless’ widely-anticipated plans to sell two phones from Palm Inc, and the unveiling of the new Backflip device from Motorola.

But with many discussions centering on the Nexus One phone, which Google announced ahead of the show, some analysts complained of a lack of breakthrough new products announced at CES itself.

“It was a bit of a disappointing show,” said MKM Partners analyst Pablo Perez-Fernandez.

He saw AT&T news it would sell Palm phones as a surprise but was unimpressed with the new device Motorola showed off.  “Based on what we saw from Motorola we think they’ve a lot of work ahead of them.”

However,  Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Modoff described as “interesting” the Motorola inside-out Backflip ( with its keyboard and screen on the outside).  But he said that its success will depend on what the kids on the street think.

But Modoff sees the company’s announcement that it will launch new phones in China around the Chinese New Year as the biggest news from the show.

“Motorola’s had a strong presence over there. I think that piece of business is something that could represent signficant volume for Motorola this year,” he said.

“We play an incredible amount of attention to what happens in North America and that’s important but, for Motorola, China could end up being more significant,” he said.

(Reuters Photo of Motorola MT710 smartphone is displayed during the 2010 International CES in Las Vegas, one of two phones it will sell in China around the New Year)

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