Motorola Razr drums to iTunes beat

Company announces four new Razr phones expected to hit the market before the end of the year. Photos: This Razr plays iTunes

Motorola announced four upcoming Razr handsets on Tuesday, including one that comes preloaded with Apple's iTunes music software.

The Razr V3i is expected to hit shelves before the end of the year. It includes a 1.23-megapixel digital camera with 8x digital zoom, video capture and a full-screen viewfinder.

Razr V3i

The handset will also ship with a hot swappable memory card, 65K-color support on the display and integrated Bluetooth wireless capability.

Pricing is expected to depend on the carrier, which Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola has not yet revealed. The Razr V3i will be the second mobile handset to feature Apple's iTunes software. Motorola's

Motorola will also ship a new Razr V3c using CDMA wireless standard Ev-DO (Evolution Data Only, Evolution Data Optimized) networks. The handset has several of the same features as the Razr V3i, with a camera upgrade to 1.3-megapixels.

Both newer handsets are expected to tap into a recent momentum at Motorola, which has reported strong sales of its popular clamshell-style Razr handset since its debut last year. Motorola continues to be the second largest handset-supplier worldwide behind Nokia.

According to market researcher The NPD Group, Motorola accounted for 30 percent of the 31.6 million handsets sold in the third quarter of 2005. Three of the company's cell phones, including the ultra-thin Razr, were among the five top-selling models. The others were the V551 and V180.

Motorola also said it would sell a pink and a blue version of its Razr handset later this year. As previously reported, in September Motorola CEO Ed Zander revealed shipping details of the colored versions of the handsets.

It's also likely that retail giant Wal-Mart Stores will start selling the Razr this Thanksgiving shopping season for $88.73, according to Web site Black Friday 2005, which posts information about retail deals. The phone presently sells for around $199 at various retailers.

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