Two years later, Nokia ( NOK) answers Motorola's ( MOT) call with a super-skinny folding phone of its own.
Nokia's N76 Razr killer?
The Finnish phone giant unveiled its N76 handset, previously dubbed the "Razr killer" by industry watchers. The flip phone, with a 2-megapixel camera and an mp3 music player, is about the same size as Motorola's iconic, half-inch-thick Razr. Trying on the sleek Motorola duds marks a major departure for Nokia, which has tried to ignore trendiness in favor of utility. Nokia watchers are hopeful Monday's N76 introduction will catch on with phone fashion setters and ease the need to beat back competitors by lowering prices. Last week, Motorola slashed profit numbers for the fourth quarter as a price war with Nokia took its toll on the bottom line. Analysts say the dulling Razr can't fetch high prices anymore, and margins are shrinking fast now that telcos are giving away free models to lure subscribers. As wireless industry watchers can tell you, Nokia has been particularly unbending in its willingness to follow phone fashions over the past few years. As a result, the No. 1 phone maker has slipped behind as a design leader. Critics blame the stubbornness on Nokia's famous arrogance. But fans see some rewards to Nokia's broad approach of developing numerous phones across the entire wireless market. The contrast between Nokia's "all phones for all people" strategy and Motorola's hot-model focus has been especially clear so far this year, with Motorola's profits diving as Razr demand cools.
Even though AT&T tried a last-minute bribe of promising 5,000 new U.S. jobs to help gain support for the deal, the Justice Department filed a complaint to fight the combination of the nation's No. 2 and No. 4 wireless carriers.