Moto Queues Up With Q

Having set ambitious sales goals for its new Q smartphone, Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) must now add to the line if it intends to meet its numbers, according to industry analysts.

Specifically, they're calling on the phone maker to introduce a Q variant for UMTS cellular networks as soon as possible. And that's something Motorola's not prepared to do until later this year.

Motorola hopes for a RAZR-like ramp for its skinny new smartphone. The networking giant predicts sales of 750,000 units in the first 90 days, 1.5 million in the next three months, and 3 million the quarter following that. The phone is on sale online now from Verizon Wireless .

"Motorola has set the bar too high," says Gartner Inc. analyst Todd Kort. "The Q has a good design for a data-centric device, but this is not going to have the broad appeal of the RAZR design."

"Since Moto wants to make Q the next RAZR (which I don't believe it will be), Moto must have a model out for GSM, and soon if it wants to keep up the buzz," agrees Jack Gold of J.Gold Associates, in an email today. "I don't expect any real difference in devices -- just a new radio basically." Kort expects Motorola will first try and break into the high-end consumer market this year. "Obviously, they will roll-out the Q to a wide range of wireless carriers once their exclusive arrangement with Verizon expires. Later this year, I expect more prosumer-oriented designs like the Q that was launched last week," he says.

Yet, despite the gadget's perceived reputation as a BlackBerry killer, Kort expects Motorola to hold off on really going after BlackBerry until next year. (See No Push for the Q?.)

"In 2007 I expect Motorola will get more serious about attacking RIM in the enterprise market, following the launch of Microsoft's Crossbow and an upgrade to Microsoft's Direct Push email solution," he tells Unstrung.

Other analysts are also waiting for more stateside launches for the new device. "I have heard a rumor -- and only a rumor -- that Cingular Wireless will have a WCDMA Q device (with HSDPA) this year." says Charles Golvin, analyst at Forrester Research Inc. "I would be surprised if such a device were to deviate in form factor from today's Q in any significant way. They get to capitalize on the cool factor that is already present in the market that way.

"I would expect the U.S. (and that means Cingular) to be a stronger driver of demand for these devices than Europe, in part because of Symbian Ltd. ’s strength there. Since I have yet to see a multi-UMTS radio device (that is, containing both an 850/1900 and a 2100 UMTS radio) so Moto would have to make separate SKUs [stock keeping units] to serve the two markets."

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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