Motorola Senior Vice President talks RAZR, Apple and BlackBerry

What Mobile
October 21, 2011

What Mobile nabbed an exclusive interview with Alain Mutricity earlier this week. Alain is Senior Vice President , Portfolio and Product Management at Motorola and joined What Mobile at the press launch of RAZR in Berlin.

With the development and launch of the new RAZR do you prioritise one element such as the software, the hardware or accessories?

We prioritise the consumer. Our vision for the smartphone is that it becomes the hub of your digital life. It gives you all your content everywhere and that’s what we want to bring to you, remotely and securely.

The HD Multimedia Station accessory lets you launch a slide show on TV whether the pictures are on the phone or whether they are on a PC that is 6000 miles away like mine. I can let my parents take control of the TV and show them pictures of my kids – all of the accessories are about complimenting the experience. If you have some work to do at the weekend, you don’t want to take your laptop with you – you just need the RAZR and the Lapdock. If you need a bigger screen or a keyboard, we need to provide this to you, then you don’t need anything else, your phone is the only thing you need to have.

Because of this, do you think we’ll see  a decline in the use of laptops compared to smartphones and tablets?

I don’t know about that and I don’t really care. What I care about is that people like the RAZR better because it’s hassle free. There is no limit, people can do whatever they need to during the day. And this phone is becoming smarter too. I’m using the Smart Actions app and when I get to 30% of battery life, the phone asks me if I want to take action.

You seem to have listened to key consumer needs for the whole market, rather than solely bells and whistles for gadget fans?

Exactly. I think we’ve focused on empowering your life – this is the first device you look at in the morning and the last one you look at in the evening. We have to focus on making it better and the largest customer concern is battery life, especially for people switching from feature phones who forget to charge their phones one night and it’s no big deal. With a smartphone enabling them to do many more things and as the screen size becoming bigger, they have issues with battery life. That’s why it’s really important to concentrate on battery life via Smart Actions on RAZR.

Smart Actions can do more things. When I’m at home for instance, I’ve adjusted the settings so the phone will see that I’m at home and turn off GPS and increase the ringer volume if I want because I’m not in the car. Every time I walk in to my home, automatically RAZR will switch to Wi-FI so people can save on their data plans. I want to take managing the smartphone away from being a worry for people.

People want to use their own phones for business and the RAZR looks to have the data encryption and functions to make it easy – how will you tell the consumer and are you aiming specifically at the enterprise market manufacturers?

We see this as a differentiation to unseat BlackBerry in enterprise but my own motivation is to support the consumers and consumers want their own device at work.

We will target both markets – consumer and enterprise but right now I think it’s important to speak to the IT managers and CIOs. We are working with specific sales channels to address this to allow trials and tests of the new phone. Then they can add these to the authorised or recommended devices list.

Word of mouth is extremely important in this market – we have have improved the email and calendar client too. You can invite people directly from the calendar for example so there’s a lot of functions that have been added to make you more productive. Whenever you have to do work on this phone, you spend the time working rather than trying to get the phone to work for you. We make it comfortable for people.

The iPhone 4S launch centred around software as much as the hardware – do you think that Apple have slowed down the development of their hardware and iOS is a priority for them?

I can’t talk for Apple. What I can say is that we see the consumer trends. They want bigger screens, vibrant screens – iPhone 4S is only 3.5 inches, the RAZR is 4.3 inches. They really want an object of desire – it’s like TVs, you know?

The RAZR is also the thinnest device in the world, it’s an immense innovation for the cell phone industry – we’ve completely changed the way the phone is constructed.

Also read: Motorola RAZR revealed in Berlin


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