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TECHNOLOGY | IN BRIEF

Motorola to Build Customized Cell Phones

July 22, 2002|Reuters

Motorola Inc. will build customized mobile phones for wireless operators, in a new strategy to boost market share quickly as it tries to regain its dominance in cell phones. Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola signed deals with four of the top U.S. wireless operators--Verizon Wireless, Cingular Wireless, AT&T Wireless Services Inc. and VoiceStream Wireless--to make low-end phones that would be exclusive to each company. In Europe, Vodafone Group, which co-owns Verizon Wireless with Verizon Communications, signed on.

The phones, due out in September, will have the same inside parts and be similar in size but will have different shapes, colors and finishes to fit in with each wireless company's brand image. Motorola said it also is customizing the software inside the phones so they will have different games, ring tones, icons and wake-up screens.

All of the phones will come with software to surf the Web and will be compatible with the advanced networks capable of high-speed Internet connections. They will have removable face plates to allow consumers to customize them.

By keeping the skeletal parts the same, Motorola is able to offer the tailored c330 line of mobile phones to customers at a cost in the $100 range.

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