Handset vendor Motorola is counting on Taiwan's upwardly mobile consumers to grab the latest version of its most successful cellular phone this year, the Motorola RAZR V3i, company officials said yesterday.
"This is recognized as the most successful handset in 2005. One year following the V3's launch, more than 12 million units were sold globally," said Yvonne Chang, PR manager for Motorola Mobile Devices.
It's biggest selling point is its sleek design, Chang added.
"Motorola created the 'slim, thin and lean' category for handsets. It doesn't even have an antenna, and the overall design is very understated. Even trade publications like Asia Mobile News recognized its merits."
The upgraded version has a purple shell and a built-in camera. The previous model was available in hot pink, black, and spa blue.
"Our latest color appeals to both men and women," Chang said.
At NT$13,900 a pop, the handset doesn't come cheap.
"Consumers, especially middle to top management people, have been waiting for this model for quite a while. When they say they want a better version of the V3, they mean they want it to have a camera function," the executive added.
"We are very upbeat about our handset's sales prospects. Other manufacturers will likely try to copy it, especially its color. We have to say though that getting this exact shade will be no easy feat."
The V3i has a sculpted metal exterior with a large internal color screen, quad-band technology, and Bluetooth wireless technology. According to the company, the handset is designed for an enhanced imaging experience. It comes complete with an integrated 1.23 megapixel digital camera with a full screen view-finder, zoom, and video capture and playback. One can share those images via email or Multimedia Messaging Service, or save them to the MicroSD removable memory card to print as soon as they get home.
Quad-band technology also allows users to roam seamlessly across countries and continents. Since it is combined with Bluetooth technology and speaker independent name and digit dialing, users have hands-free capabilities to "juggle work and play," it added.
The handset also doubles as an MP3 player, thanks to iTunes music software.
Those who want to screen their calls can use the external display to see who is calling with picture caller ID, the handset vendor added.
Taiwan's replacement handset market is stimulated by product launches, Motorola's Chang said.
"You have to anticipate consumers' needs and expectations, and we believe that the V3i - with its new functions and even more stylish design - is the product that they have long been waiting for," she said.
The executive did not disclose Motorola's sales target for the V3i in 2006.
"Today, handsets are not just about making phone calls. They express one's taste. They are an extension of one's personal style," Chang said.
"One of the things that we've learned (in this business) is that consumers who love the V3's design will stick to that kind of style."