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Motorola bets on music phones in tough market

Lloyd Mathias, director, marketing for mobile devices in Motorola's South West Asia unit, discusses with M Rajendran the direction the company is taking in catching up.

business Updated: Jul 09, 2007 05:01 IST
M Rajendran
M Rajendran

Motorola, trying to gain market share in a competitive Indian market that includes strong players like Nokia, Sony-Ericsson and Samsung, feels that there would be a huge surge in music-optimized phones and video music phones in India. Lloyd Mathias, director, marketing for mobile devices in Motorola's South West Asia unit, discussed with M Rajendran the direction the company is taking in catching up. Excerpts:

Motorola is considered late entrant in the music-based phones? How do you plan to create a niche in the market?
I do not agree with the view that we were late.. We have the most comprehensive models in the music-phone category. Motorola has music phones for all categories. The entry level, with requirements like FM radio and song based ring tones at Rs 2,400. At the highest we have sophisticated phones that can offer the latest in the industry.

What do the consumers look for in music–phones?
The music-phone consumer not only in India but across the world typically looks for five things; great music clarity, music storage capacity and multiple music formats, wireless that can allow people to move around the office while the phone is locked in a drawer, and availability of latest software. We are offering these across all our high-end music phones.

You have tied up with Sony BMG for music content. What can the consumer expect from this tie up?
It has provided us with a data source of music. Our objective is to ensure that there is appropriate content in the phone that helps the consumer to get started.

So would it be an exclusive tie-up with Sony?
It will not be an exclusive tie-up. We are happy working with Sony. But tie-ups with other content providers would depend on the need of a particular phone. But currently we are happy working with Sony as they have great content and have a huge repository of international music and the Indian blockbusters in the last five years.

What are the emerging trends in mobile music?
Two trends: culturally Indians are music inclined and are now aware of the concept of video music. So there would be a huge surge in music optimized phones and video music phones. Currently, 30 of our phones available in India are music-phones. In future all our phones that would be launched will have wireless music capability, and music optimized i.e. not just FM radio but also 1-2 formats as well, in addition to watch video streaming.

Mobile TV seems to be next big thing? You don’t have a product yet in India?
We do not have a Mobile TV product here but we are working on it, but it would be too premature for us to elaborate on it and discuss the specifics. Mobile TV is based on 3G and we have a range of 3G-enabled products.