ORLANDO, Fla. -- Motorola Inc. is brewing up a top-secret plan to launch an ultra-thin cellphone and personal security device that can be used to zap people, Light Reading has learned.
The new phone, called the TAZR, is slated for U.S. release this fall, officials said.
Like the wildly popular RAZR, TAZR is thin. And like the lackluster ROKR phones, it does have an MP3 player built in. But, as its name suggests, the Moto TAZR has one feature that some will find shocking: When slipped into a special high-voltage clip-on attachment in the phone's carrying case, the TAZR can literally knock your socks off.
Government reviews of the legality of the product are expected.
"The TAZR's target markets are women, young people, and men who want a fully functional phone -- or generally anyone that might want to shock the cr*p out of somebody," says one source that's kind of close to the company (but not really that close).
Light Reading editors have been supplied top-secret photos of the device but have been unable to to publish them because of fears of reprisal from Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs, who is said to have immediately launched his own program to develop the iShock, a similar product from Apple that would include an MP3 player, movie camera, personal security device, and electric massage toy. "We'll do them one better," said Jobs or someone who looks a lot like him.
Unconfirmed (and really dodgy) reports say the RAZR phone could possibly be resold by AT&T Inc. in late 2007, and it will have a one-inch clamshell design, titanium finish, and built-in handcuffs. The law-enforcement market will apparently be targeted in addition to paranoiac consumers.
Sources (in our local bar) say the price will be a whopping $1,500 with a two-year contract, which includes personal liability insurance.
Special promotions are said to be in the works. Moto, through its wireless partners, is considering issue credits and rebates when a valid police report is mailed in. Residents of Miami and Camden, N.J., will be offered a special "six-pack" deal in which the sixth TAZR is free.
Mario LaJolta, possibly a Motorola spokesman, says data gathered from Moto's home monitoring and home security lines of business kick-started the company's search for a way to offer a combination cellphone and self-defense device.
"Our research in Idaho, L.A., and the South Bronx indicated people thought they needed more ways to defend themselves," LaJolta says.
A few unlucky analysts have experienced hands-on demonstrations.
"It definitely works as advertised," says Heavy Reading analyst Patrick Donegan, who was floored by the device.
Donegan says he was particularly impressed by the rubber mouthpiece that will be distributed with the product.
"If not for the mouthpiece, I would have bit my tongue off," said Donegan. "This shows real foresight and planning on the part of Motorola's engineers."
â€” Thomas Alva Battery, Personal Toy Editor, Light Reading
[Disclosure: Our lawyers advised us to tell you this story is really, extra, super fake.]