Thursday, May 03, 2007

Die RAZR die

Motorola, listen to me carefully. You had some good times. The RAZR was an amazing success: groundbreaking design, $500 with a contract, 50 million sold.

But now your laurels are as old and worn as the phone that got you them in the first place.

The RAZR is dead.

Changing the color of your product for four years does not constitute a "design refresh". Releasing a purple "version" for Mother's Day? "Tattooed" editions? Please. Technology years pass faster than dog years. That means your design for the RAZR is at least 21 years old. 21 years ago it was 1986.

With all these color changes and little innovation to an admittedly good, but dated, design you're coming across as the 32 year old whose sole sense of worth is founded on his high school football career.

Yes, you have the KRZR now. It's about two years overdue, but it's sleeker and shinier than it's predecessor. Why then, are you still trying to ring every last ounce out of the RAZR? Each new RAZR you come out with is being sold for free with a contract. Your once coveted, high-end phone is now used for free by pre-teens as a $9.99 per month add-on to their parent's plans.

The RAZR is killing the brand it established.

People used to say, "Cool! A RAZR!" Now, with a hint of nostalgia, they sigh and say, "The RAZR was cool..."

Do you see those three dots at the end of that statement? They're death. They signify the amount of time someone will fondly look back at their experience with your product, not unlike thinking about their first time playing Nintendo, until they snap out of it and start looking for the next cool thing.

Yet you're still pushing it as if it was the latest and greatest.

Discontinue it, even if it's making money. Pull it from the shelves, even if you lose money. It's hurting more than it's helping. People look at their phones with disgust half way through their two-year contracts as it is, and you're pushing the same phone four years later.

Take a cue from Apple: don't feed demand, create demand.

21 years ago Motorola gave us the RAZR. What are they doing now?