Motorola broadens Razr brand with new smartphones

Sep 05, 2012 by Peter Svensson
Razr Maxx HD

Motorola is broadening the use of its Razr brand to a family of smartphones in its first major product launch under new owner Google.

started taking pre-orders Wednesday for the first of the new phones, the Droid Razr M. It's a cheaper, smaller phone than the Razr that Motorola Mobility launched last year. The Razr is the name of the wildly popular clamshell phone launched in 2004. Motorola hasn't had a hit since then.

The $99 Razr M will be in U.S. stores next week.

Motorola is following up with the launch of two high-end models, the Razr HD and Razr Maxx HD, later this year. It's emphasizing long battery lifeā€”up to 21 hours of talk time for the Maxx HD, or 10 hours of video streaming.

The new phones will run on 's Android operating system.

. bought Motorola for $12.4 billion in May. Though it's a pioneer in the cellphone industry, Motorola has been struggling in recent years. In buying Motorola, Google was mostly seeking a patent portfolio that might help Android phone makers fend off lawsuits from Apple. Samsung lost one such lawsuit in Silicon Valley last month.

Motorola's announcement came on the same day . announced new phones based on the next version of Windows. Apple is expected to reveal the next week, making for a tough season for competitors.

Google's stock fell 50 cents to $680.54.

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