Discount Razr phones on the horizon?

Phone sold to hipsters and execs is likely to be offered in the same store where you can buy patio sets and a Water Weenie.

Michael Kanellos Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.
Michael Kanellos
2 min read
Motorola's upscale Razr phone could be coming to the masses.

Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores will likely start selling the Razr this Thanksgiving shopping season for $88.73, according to Web site Black Friday 2005, which posts information about retail deals. Currently, the phone typically sells for $199 at various retailers. The phone will likely be offered through a bundle with service from Cingular.

The phone is part of an anticipated Black Friday electronics cavalcade by Wal-Mart. Other expected bargains include a $398 Hewlett-Packard laptop, a Hitachi video camera that records directly onto DVDs for $300 and a 15-inch LCD TV for $194.

For the last two years, Wal-Mart has come out with somewhat pedestrian offers for the holiday season, said Steve Baker, an analyst at NPD Techworld. As a result, the retailer did not experience a huge bump in electronics sales at the holidays.

The sleek Razr, introduced last year, has been a crucial element in Motorola's turnaround, helping the hoary electronics giant to turn back a surge from rival Samsung. Last year, Samsung bumped Motorola from the No. 2 spot in cell phone shipments worldwide, but Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola bounced back, in large part through sales of the Razr.

A pink version of the Razr will come out during the holiday season. Motorola has already seeded the phone among celebrities like tennis star Maria Sharapova.

"My only problem is that I can't make these fast enough," Motorola CEO Ed Zander said during a speech in September.

Wal-Mart also has begun to carry the Ojo, a video conferencing phone for consumers unveiled last year by Motorola.

The Black Friday 2005 site receives advance copies of advertisements expected to be included in newspapers on the Thanksgiving weekend and republishes the information contained in the ads. The site does not reveal its sources and warns that the deals can change or be cancelled before they come out. Nonetheless, the site noted that it has a good probability of success.

Analysts have also said that the prices listed on some products in the advance ads match their expectations. Many, for instance, said earlier in the year that PC makers would try to reduce the price of notebooks and make them almost equal in price to desktops.

Motorola and Wal-Mart could not be reached for comment but typically, neither company comments on unannounced deals.