Motorola to quit making feature phones by year-end?

Motorola to quit making feature phones by year-end?
Motorola Mobility might slash all feature phones from its development portfolio and suspend that business by the end of the year and instead focus on smartphones only. That’s the latest rumor coming from Chinese publication Commercial Times, and while we don’t see any factual evidence to support that claim, we wouldn’t be terribly surprised if it came true.

After all, Android smartphones for once have dropped to match feature phones and Motorola could well work in that segment. Also, it’s worth noting that feature phones with their low prices is not where the industry’s margins are. Motorola would probably do good to its profits if it switched to an all-smartphone strategy.

This aligns with some carriers plans as well. US biggest Verizon has previously said it will stop offering non-4G smartphones and try to push its LTE network as much as it could. This suggests the carrier will also focus on smartphones.

The Chinese publication also mentions that this could mean significant trouble for ODM Arima Communications, a Taiwanese company that Motorola uses for the production of its feature phones and most basic smartphones. 

Would someone miss feature phones and are they still relevant in this day and age? Let us know your thoughts below.

source: DigiTimes

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17 Comments

1. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Feature phones are most definitely relevant. There will always be those who want feature phones, and I do come across people often who are disappointed that Motorola doesn't really make them for US carriers anymore. It would be great if Motorola actually manufactured such phones themselves too. Some nice, well built flip phones and texting sliders would actually make them the darling of basic phone customers. But oh well. Even if they do this, I'd just like to see them keep making awesome smartphones. I hope the Maxx battery becomes their standard from now on.

14. snowgator

Posts: 3614; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I agree, Sniggs. I think companies such as HTC and Moto that are ignoring this segment do not understand the true dynamic of the mobile industry. I see the next generation of buyers ( my kids and the younger ones in school right now) as maybe the generation that may see smartphones only. But that is what- 10- 15 years before they become the dominate consumer? And what about still developing economic countries? If you want to be a worldwide presence, you need to be a worldwide provider. Economy cars are not huge sellers, but there is still a group of buyers that want them. What makes Samsung the biggest mobile provider, and what is keeping LG a top handset maker even as their smartphone production is not great? Feature phones, and they will be a huge market for a long, long time for them. But, Moto may be only concerned with the North American market, so maybe they could get away with it. I just think it is leaving money on the table.

2. Icestalker

Posts: 8; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Yes smartphones are nice but I for one still need a feature phone. Like many other collage students I am hurting for money so a basic phone is great for myself and many others out there that just do not have the extra money to get a data plan added on still need, maybe not want, a feature phone.

3. pokharkarsaga

Posts: 545; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

May be google wants to ruin features phones by replacing android smartphones at a kicker price

4. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Still waiting for Apple to stop making feature phones too lol

7. RoundBallmer

Posts: 43; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

If an iPhone is feature phone then Androids are dumbphone with inferior OS, lags, bad battery life, fragmentation, spyware, malware.

10. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Lol inferior os? God I wish my phone was nothing more than an app launcher I can side scroll! Sooo amazing! Right because the Iphone has NONE of the above right? Oh wait it has ALL that you mentioned. Just brain washed fools like yourself are either ignoring them or too dumb to see. Ya know your Iphone can easily be hacked just as any phone, you know when you open an app up and your screen turns black and it takes you back to the home screen? That's a force close. Ya know how the Iphone 4, 3gs won't get features from ios 6? That's fragmentation. You know how many complaints about people with the 4S have complained about battery life even tho there's NO 4g/lte? That's bad battery life with no excuses. Ya know how you have the 3gs running ios 5 and the Web browser lags like freaking crazy and apps take forever to load? That's of course LAG! And of course before you say anything else moronic. You said the Iphone in general that's why I'm comparing all of them.

12. matrix_neo

Posts: 334; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

I remember QinEmpire used to comment like that. Is that you QinEmpire? You're complaining about android, spend your day with your iphone then you'll know it's worst than android.

5. andrew1953

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 13, 2011

What the hell is the definition of a feature phone people?

6. ilia1986 unregistered

That's interesting. According to the common definition, a feature phone is a phone with a preset amount of apps (music player, camcorder, browser, and so on), and one which allows only very limited customization. You can install apps on a feature-phone, but the apps themselves are not allowed to change the core aspects of the phone or replace them. Wait a second... that means... Are you ready for it? The iPhone is a FEATURE-PHONE!! :D

8. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

The Iphone IS a very expensive but very powerful feature phone. Still though it's a feature phone. You couldn't even put a damn wallpaper on your phone for the longest time. It has several apps sure but what's your home screen made of? Just freaking apps that you scroll through.

9. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Ughh. I really hope this a joke.

11. ilia1986 unregistered

No - not really. By today's standards - you can consider it a feature-phone in my opinion. Me and Michael - the only writer for PA whom I truly respect - used to debate about this for quite awhile back at the time.

13. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Answer: iPhone 4/4S; alot of features that [ALMOST] make it a Smartphone. The question is, when will Apple stop focusing on "Feature Phones"?

16. TROLL.ISAHA

Posts: 535; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

I answer: iPhone 4/4S; a lot of iFeature that [ALMOST] make it a iSmartphone The iQuestion is, when will Apple iStop focusing on "Feature phones"?

17. MoonlitTear

Posts: 52; Member since: Jun 09, 2008

When I deal with customers asking questions, my team and I explain that a feature phone does not have an OS of any kind, just a basic UI. A smartphone has an OS of some kind. Just tossing my two cents in.

15. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i miss Moto making sleek Flip Phones. imagine a Razr 3 picking up from where the Razr 2 left off. the Razr 2 was a really nice phone but it was so overpriced back in the day.

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