Motorola Inc. will start selling the next generation of its popular and ultra-slim Razr cell phone next month in South Korea ahead of a global launch in July, the president of the company's South Korean operations said Thursday.
"Korean consumers are tech-savvy and leading the pack in terms of design," Gill Hyun-chang, president of Motorola Korea Inc., told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview. "The launch of our latest phone in Korea first shows we're confident about this product."
The new phone, called Razr 2, boasts a slimmer frame, larger screen and improved call quality compared with its predecessor.
It will be available via SK Telecom Co., South Korea's largest wireless carrier, Gill said. He wouldn't comment on pricing.
Motorola, the world's second-largest maker of cell phones, unveiled the new phone Tuesday in a bid to resurrect its ailing handset business.
Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola has sold nearly 100 million Razr phones, but has struggled to find a successor to it.
The Razr's popularity bolstered Motorola for the past two years. The company then aggressively cut prices of Razrs and other high-end phones, especially in emerging markets, to boost market share. Profit fell sharply.
Last month, the company posted its first quarterly loss since 2004 and Motorola has lost about a third of its market value since October.
"Razr has also been a steady seller in the Korean market and we hope the new phone will help us expand our market share here," Gill said.
Homegrown names such as Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Co. are the two biggest suppliers of mobile phones in the 41 million-strong South Korean mobile service market.
Motorola accounted for 11.5 percent of the South Korean handset market as of the end of April, Samsung held 55 percent and LG Electronics 19 percent, according to Korea-based ATLAS Research Group.
Gill said the Razr 2 phone is the latest of its slim phone lines, and the company is developing a variety of phones.
"We're not entirely relying on Razr 2 for Motorola's growth," he said. "Being slim is just part of our marketing strategies."
Nokia Corp. of Finland is the world's largest cell phone manufacturer, followed by Motorola and Samsung.