Verizon: Motorola Razr brand sticking with just us for a while

The combination of the Droid and Razr brands have been a success for both companies.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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  • SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Roger Cheng
2 min read
Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside at the company's event earlier today.
Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside at the company's Razr event this week. Sarah Tew/CNET

Are you not a Verizon Wireless customer but still want the Razr smartphone? Don't hold your breath.

Motorola Mobility won't be taking the Razr to another U.S. carrier any time soon, executives from Motorola and Verizon told CNET.

"It's a relationship that works really well," said Marni Walden, chief operating officer of Verizon Wireless.

Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside:"We have no plans to bring the Razr elsewhere."

The combination of the two brands has resulted in a blockbuster product in the original Droid Razr, and the juiced-up follow-on Droid Razr Maxx. On Wednesday, Verizon and Motorola paired up again to bring the next-generation of Droid Razr phones in the Droid Razr HD, Droid Razr Maxx HD, and the Droid Razr M.

The Droid Razr brand figures prominently in Woodside's strategy for Motorola. Motorola is among the many struggling handset manufacturers out there, but unlike some of its competitors, it does have a bright spot with the Droid Razr franchise.

Verizon plans to put a lot of marketing muscle behind the franchise during the holiday season, Walden said. She declined to say whether the phones would occupy the carrier's coveted holiday flagship slot, as the phones share a lineup that will include the next iPhone, and other potential unannounced products.

Still, that may leave consumers who are looking at the Razr brand and its focus on battery life forced to join Verizon or move on to another carrier. Motorola may also be missing an opportunity to expand its potential customer base.

It's far cry from the prior Motorola's strategy. When the original Razr flip-phone launched, its ultra-thin design made it a highly coveted product. After breaking free from an exclusive deal with then-Cingular Wireless (now AT&T), the Razr popped up at every carrier, driving the company's sales and a rapid rise in market share.

Of course, Motorola failed to follow up on the success of the Razr, unless you count the tepid Razr 2, and the company hit a myriad of problems before splitting up, leading to Google acquiring the handset and cable set-top box business in May.

Woodside undoubtedly wants to avoid the mistakes of the past.