Verizon Wireless says it will start selling Motorola's (MOT) revamped Razr2 phone next month.
The significantly upgraded Razr2 represents a potential step toward recovery for the long-slumping Motorola, as well as a hot multimedia phone to help take some of the industry's attention away from
Verizon Wireless -- co-owned by
-- does not have an exclusive supply of Razr2 phones;
and T-Mobile, the U.S. wireless unit of
will most likely also offer the phone.
The even-thinner Razr works on the faster 3G network and has two large screens and a 2-megapixel camera. The phone should be huge for Verizon and Sprint in particular. The two major carriers have been without a blockbuster model to help offset the loss of customers switching to AT&T for the iPhone.
And if Motorola successfully delivers the phone next month, that should give the telcos plenty of time to drum up promotion efforts for the big holiday sales season. With No.1 mobile-phone maker
still a small force in the U.S., a revival of Razr sales could help Motorola win back some of the market share it has lost in recent quarters.
Verizon has priced the Razr2 at $299, with a refund and two-year service contract. Motorola's original ultra-thin Razr design caught on with users, helping sell about 100 million phones in less than three years.
The new version, while not a breakthrough design, should earn fans with its sleeker feel, scratch-free external touch-screen, steel body and durable aluminum knuckle hinge.
Motorola shares were down 26 cents to $16.55 amid a marketwide selloff.