Is the flip phone coming back? Motorola teases new Android version of Razr handset
- Razr was first released in 2004, and eventually sold over 130 million units
- Lenovo, the brand's latest owner, has teased it will 'flip back to the Razr days' in a video showing off the original handset
- Is expected to unveil a new, Android powered version of the phone
It was first released in 2004, and eventually sold over 130 million units.
Now, Motorola is set to bring back the Razr flip phone - as an android handset.
The firm, now owned by Lenovo, has teased the new handset with an ad promising it will 'flip back to the Razr days of yesteryear and get ready for the future.'
The phone is set to be unveiled at a Lenovo event on 9th June.
Because of its striking appearance and thin profile, the Razr was initially marketed as an exclusive fashion phone, but it was not until a year later when the price was dropped it became a huge success, selling over 50 million units by July 2006.
Over the Razr's four-year run, the V3 model sold more than 130 million units, becoming the best-selling flipphone in the world to date.
In 2007, a second version, called the Razr2 was unveiled, which has an external touch screen.
In October 2011, Motorola resurrected the Razr brand for a line of Android smartphones; the Droid Razr for Verizon Wireless, otherwise also known simply as 'Motorola RAZR' on other networks.
Despite its age, the flip phone still has its fans.
Anna Wintour may have been derided for using a $15 flip phone at the US Open earlier this year - but it appears she may have simply been ahead of the curve of Japanese fashion.
New figures reveal Japanese shipments of traditional flip-phones rose in 2014 for the first time in seven years while smartphone shipments fell.
Experts say the figures highlight Japanese consumers' tenacious attachment to the familiar and typically less expensive older models.
Dubbed 'Galapagos' phones because they have evolved to meet unique Japanese standards and tastes, flip-phone shipments rose 5.7 percent to 10.58 million in 2014, data from market researcher MM Research Institute Ltd shows.
Smartphone shipments fell 5.3 percent to 27.70 million, down for a second year.
Users in Japan pay some of the highest smartphone fees among developed nations, the telecommunications ministry says, while flip-phone rates are among the lowest.
Many Japanese accustomed to years of deflation are content with old-style flip-phones offering voice calling, email and in most cases basic Internet services.
Japanese electronics companies Panasonic Corp and NEC Corp have pulled out of the consumer smartphone business, unable to compete with dominant brands Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
They still make flip-phones, though, competing in a crowded market with Fujitsu Ltd and Sharp Corp, among others.
But with a mobile penetration rate of 98.5 percent, or 125 million subscriptions, there is little scope for significant overall growth in Japan's mobile market, MM Research said.
'Smartphones are also peaking in terms of functionality and they tend to last a long time as well, so there are fewer renewals,' said MM Research Executive Analyst Hideaki Yokota.
He said 2014 was a particularly strong year for renewals in the subscription cycle for flip-phones, suggesting that last year's growth may not be repeated this year.
However, its not just in Japan the flip phone is back.
In between cheering on players at the U.S. Open in New York earlier this year, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour was pictured glancing at her cell phone - a rather dated looking flip phone.
The 64-year-old fashion maven was seen peering out from her signature dark sunglasses to look more closely at the tiny screen on the phone, which appears to be a $15 pay-as-you go phone from
The model, an AT&T Z222 GoPhone, has a small two-inch display screen and offers texting and calling but no apps.
Her decision to use such a simple and inexpensive is something of a surprise considering Ms Wintour presumably has the most cutting-edge products at her fingertips.
Perhaps the editor, who is known to be a creature of habit, simply likes to stick with what she knows best.
Indeed, back in 2004 she was seen using a similar flip phone while watching a Michael Kors runway show, although that particular model looked even more retro with an antenna.
By 2007, she graduated to a somewhat sleeker model - the Motorola Razr, which she brandished proudly at yet another fashion show.
From 2009 to 2012, Ms Wintour was pictured multiple times using a Blackberry, and it seemed she had finally found a modern phone she liked.
And just last year, she was seen carrying around both a Blackberry and an iPhone, a symbol of her busy business life.