Motorola camera phones miss holiday season

Reports of the delays, which initially sent Motorola shares down more than 5 percent on Friday, come on the heels of the surprise resignation last week of Motorola’s chairman and chief executive, Christopher Galvin, amid differences with the board.

Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc  , said Friday it had been expecting the V810, with built-in digital camera, from Motorola for the crucial fourth quarter. However, it will not be ready until the first quarter now.

“They just don’t have a camera phone to sell during the fourth quarter,” Verizon Wireless spokesman Jim Gerace said.

The industry rings up about 30 percent of its sales during the fourth quarter, according to the Shosteck Group, a Washington-based wireless consulting firm.

Cingular Wireless also reported delays with its Motorola-made camera phones.

Motorola acknowledged the delays, but said the reports were old and would neither hurt its holiday offerings nor have a material impact on its financial forecasts.

“We have absolutely no intention of being MIA (missing in action) in the holiday season,” Geoffrey Frost, Motorola’s chief brand officer, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“We hate the fact that a couple of (new cell phones) are a little later than we’d like them to be, but we feel very good about … being in front of consumers with competitive, compelling stuff in the holiday season,” he added.

Frost said the Schaumburg, Illinois-based company will ship millions of camera phones globally in the fourth quarter, including to an unidentified North American carrier.

Still, the delays could cost Motorola, which lost its leading spot in cell phones to Finland’s Nokia  in the mid-1990s, even more sales and market share, analysts said. In addition to Nokia, others that could benefit include South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.  and LG Electronics Ltd.

‘LIKE THE BOY WHO CRIED WOLF’

Analysts have criticized Motorola for past delays in rolling out new phones, something it had promised would not reoccur.

“They make a lot of statements that sound very nice, but it all comes down to ‘show me the money,’ and time and again Motorola has let the industry, its partners and its customers down with late products,” said Shosteck Group CEO Jane Zweig. “It’s like the boy who cried wolf. People aren’t going to believe Motorola.”

About 25 million camera phones were sold worldwide in the first half of 2003, and 65 million are expected for the year, or 13 percent of all cell phones sold, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. wireless operator, had known for several months of the delay and will meet demand for such phones with LG models, Gerace said. Another Motorola color-screen model, the E310, also would be delayed.

Cingular, a joint venture of SBC Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp.  , said its original plan was to have two different Motorola camera phones in time for the holiday season.

“The delay in Motorola’s integrated camera phone will limit the choices we offer our customers,” Frank Boyer, vice president at the No. 2 U.S. wireless operator, said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal reported the delays Friday, and said similar delays are likely with AT&T Wireless Services Inc  . An AT&T Wireless spokesman declined to comment.

Shawn Campbell, principal with Chicago-based Campbell Asset Management, said the delays might be a factor in Galvin’s departure. Motorola said it has hired recruitment firm Spencer Stuart to lead the search for a successor.

“Here we go again. This is the exact problem they had before,” said Campbell, whose firm holds Motorola preferred shares.

Motorola shares fell as low as $11.80 before rebounding to close unchanged at $12.53 in the heaviest trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

Source: Reuters

Mobile

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G might be a few short weeks away from launch

Samsung has announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show as it's among the first 5G-ready smartphones to hit the market.
Mobile

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for March 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for March 2019.
Mobile

You can now use the innovative Red Hydrogen One on Google Fi

The Red Hydrogen One was first announced in 2017 and has been delayed a few times since then. Now, the Red Hydrogen One is finally available, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
Mobile

Apple patents hint at improved Apple Store and unboxing experiences

It looks like Apple is working on ways to improve the Apple Store and product unboxing experiences. The company has been awarded a few patents, largely for tech that can be used in product packaging to ensure products stay charged.
Wearables

Fossil made a smartwatch in 2004, and it’s part of a new brand retrospective

Fossil has been making watches for 35 years, and to celebrate the anniversary, it has a new retrospective exhibit complete with the first smartwatch it made — the Wrist Net watch from 2004.
Wearables

Fossil is working on a smartwatch with BMW, and it’s coming next year

Fossil, the watch company that makes smartwatches under its own name and partners with other major brands too, intends to launch a smartwatch with car manufacturer BMW in the future.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for March 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Social Media

A Facebook, Instagram bug exposed millions of passwords to its employees

Facebook, Facebook Lite, and Instagram passwords weren't properly encrypted and could be viewed by employees, the company said Thursday. The network estimates millions of users were affected.
Mobile

Nokia phones are being investigated for allegedly sending data to China

Nokia could be in some hot water. According to recent reports, Nokia 7 models may be secretly sending data to China without the user knowing about it. Nokia says that the issue was a software bug and that it has been fixed.
Mobile

Diesel’s denim-inspired smartwatch straps are a casual, colorful must-own

Diesel will release two new versions of the On Full Guard 2.5 smartwatch later this year, with seriously cool, denim-inspired straps in classic Diesel colors. We tried them on at the Baselworld 2019 show.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is set for March 25: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Wearables

Tips and tricks to get you started with your new Fitbit Inspire HR

The Inspire HR may be an entry-level fitness tracker in Fitbit's lineup, but the device still has plenty of features to explore. These are our favorite tips and tricks to help you use the Inspire HR to its fullest potential.
Mobile

How three simple words could be the difference between life and death

What3Words’ app-based address system gives a three-word code to every three-meter-square patch on the planet, with its accuracy and ease of use now catching the attention of first responders in the U.K.