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Motorola Halts Launch of New Camera Phone in China
Nov 26, 2003
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Motorola Inc. (Schaumburg, IL, U.S.) said it has "killed" the launch of a camera phone model for the Chinese market.

Motorola, the world's second-largest cell phone maker behind Finland's Nokia, said its V295 phone was not needed, and demand would be met in China by two other camera models it already offers, the A760 and E365.

"We killed the program," Motorola spokesman Alan Buddendeck said. "Any company, you make strategic decisions about how you're going to manage the products you bring to market."

Some analysts rejected the company's explanation, saying the new phone went through costly research and development and quality testing. They said it was more likely a technical or competitive issue that killed the launch.

"It doesn't make a lick of sense because it's an expensive way of planning your product line," Charter Equity Research Analyst Edward Snyder said of the decision to kill the product weeks before its scheduled launch. "These decisions are normally made on the drawing board before any investment in product."

Mr. Buddendeck of Motorola declined to say when the V295 decision was made. Its introduction had been scheduled for the fourth quarter and was goint to be made by Taiwanese contract manufacturer BenQ Corp.

Yankee Group analyst John Jackson said cell phone models get canceled all the time, including by Nokia, but Motorola's action has attracted attention given its track record of late product roll-outs.

The decision to kill the V295 makes sense, however, because the mid-tier phone echoed another offering, Mr. Jackson said. Motorola already offers a high-end model in China and last week launched a low-cost camera phone for Asia and Europe.

Motorola previously said it planned to launch eight new camera phones during the fourth quarter. (Reuters)

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