Razr is back. After being criticized for depending on the four letter brand for too long, Motorola is hoping to draw some more blood from the stone with the new Droid Razr in the U.S. market. It will be called plain old Razr in the rest of the world.
Analysts are already predicting that the new phones won’t reach the 130 million unit sales that Motorola boasts for Razr over several years. But the jury is still out on whether using the old brand that came to symbolize the company’s downfall will help sales of the latest phone, which it is touting as the world’s thinnest smartphone.
“We tend to see it more in the auto industry where Dodge brought back the Charger and Volkswagen brought back the Beetle. Volkswagen did well,” said NPD analyst Ross Rubin. But the modern Beetle is an updated model that is recognizable as a descendent of an old car that dates back to pre-war Germany. The Droid Razr is a tablet-like device with a 4.3 inch display that looks nothing like the original flip-phone Razr.
“It probably creates a weaker association than if the product had been a flip-phone,” said Rubin, adding that while the retro-branding was “not a bad idea”, it would be unlikely to make a huge difference to Motorola’s sales of the gadget.
Avaian Securities analyst Matthew Thornton was more enthusiastic: “I like it. If you think about the Motorola brand and what it’s tied to, it is Razr. I think it’s a smart play. The thing the Razr stood for was thinness.”