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Moto’s “Whoa!” range leaked

Following its announcement to lay off 3,500 staff, Motorola has leaked information of a new series of Windows Q Smartphones that could be launched at the forthcoming 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona next month.

During a financial analyst update webcast, Motorola’s Ron Garriques, president of mobile devices business, reportedly showed a slide outlining new HSDPA and EV-DO models. The slideshow from Garriques presentation is available online and outlines what Motorola describes as its “Whoa!” products. They include an entry level Motofone which is aimed at the emerging markets.

Last year Motorola was heavily criticised for its lack of portfolio particularly in the 3G market where it trails heavily behind Nokia and others. Geoff Blaber, senior analyst with IDC says that while Motorola is “in quite a healthy condition, but it still does not have the right balance in its portfolio.”

Upon inspection, Garriques presentation shows a wide variety of mobiles but few new models, each being a variation of the existing Razr or Krazr range but with 3G engines.

Niek van Veen, associate analyst with Forrester Research, said Motorola’s new range needs to have “the same wow factor as its range of thin handsets did three years ago”. Van Veen highlights Motorola’s weakness in both the 3G market and the mid-tier where Sony Ericsson is doing extremely well. “I think Motorola knows what’s going on in the mid-tier particularly and I expect we will see more handsets in that range over the next twelve months.”

For IDC’s Blaber, the firm that brought us the ‘thin form factor’ is going through a “transitional phase”, which, when it emerges, “should have a stronger focus on Europe because it has put a lot of emphasis on North America. The ‘Q’, when it finally arrives [in Europe] should definitely be WCDMA/3G… when it comes to choosing a device, all the others have ramped up with 3G devices and Motorola just isn’t there.”

Motorola said it could not comment on unreleased devices.

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