Motorola ROKR iTunes phone ‘may have flopped’ with six times the returns
Motorola Inc.’s iTunes music phone, developed with Apple Computer Inc. and unveiled last month in front of an audience of more than 500, may have flopped. As many as six times more customers are returning the Rokr phones than is normal for new handsets, according to American Technology Research analyst Albert Lin, who said he talked to distributors, retailers and call center workers at Cingular Wireless LLC, which sells the phone. Motorola Chief Executive Officer Ed Zander said he is disappointed with the phone’s marketing and plans to fix it. “We got off to a little bit of a rough start,” Zander said in an interview after Motorola reported on Oct. 18 that third- quarter profit tripled, driven by more-popular phones such as the Razr. “People were looking for an iPod and that’s not what it is. We may have missed the marketing message there.”
Zander said the Schaumburg, Illinois-based company didn’t make it clear enough that the Rokr stores fewer songs than an iPod. The phone holds 100 songs and costs $249.99 with a two-year contract from Cingular. The iPod Nano, introduced the same day, holds 1,000 songs and costs about the same.
Motorola sold 250,000 iTunes phones in the weeks it was on sale last quarter, or about 83,000 a week. About 6.5 million Razr phones were sold during the entire quarter, or about 500,000 a week. Lin said Rokr’s sales matched estimates, though the high rate of customers returning the phone means it won’t be a “superstar product.”
Via – Bloomberg