Friday, July 07, 2006

Motorola RAZR V3m Silver Music Phone

Verizon's silver bullet to the Cingular ROKR and Sprint FUSIC music phones is the silver RAZR, model V3m. The "m", as you might guess, is music or multimedia, depending on your preferred use for this "Razor" phone.

So why does Verizon need a silver bullet? Probably not to go up against the cell phones with bundled MP3 players. In fact, the RAZR V3m isn't really designed as a stand-alone MP3 player. The real target is the Apple iTunes empire, with over a billion iTunes already downloaded. Most of these downloads are installed in the proprietary Apple iPod or stored in the iTunes players on personal computers. The Motorola ROKR broke the ice in making cell phones into targets for iTunes downloads as well.

Verizon can hardly let the iTunes phenomena go unchallenged, when it starts to encroach on the growing VCAST multimedia system by moving into the cellular world. VCAST is best known for providing streaming video on demand, including music and other entertainment shows. But there is no reason that the high speed cellular network built for VCAST can't also support downloading individual songs for storage and playback on cell phones. What's been needed is the creation of a VCAST music store and a cell phone equipped with the technology to be a music player.

Voila! Met the Motorola RAZR V3m Silver. The big difference between this version of the RAZR and previous models is the addition of the VCAST Music Player. The V3m "razor" phone one-ups the "rocker" technology in that you can purchase, download and enjoy your selected tunes right from your cell phone. Subscribing to VCAST now gives you access to the VCAST music catalog where you can select and order your music downloads. The RAZR V3m plays your music on stereo headphones or through the built-in (monophonic) speakerphone. Memory can be expanded up to 1 GB using plug-in memory cards, far exceeding the music storage capability of the ROKR.

The Motorola RAZR is arguably the most popular cell phone design in recent memory. Since its inception, it has sold like the proverbial hotcakes for all the major carriers. By incorporating the VCAST music player in the V3m, Verizon is assured of creating a huge installed base of players that seamlessly integrate with the VCAST Music Store. The "m" in V3m may really be intended to stand for "money", as the VCAST song downloads start to compete with iTunes.

This RAZR is a next-step improvement on earlier models, like the V3 and V3c. It has the same aircraft-grade aluminum shell that gives all razors the 1/2 inch thin profile. It also has the large high resolution color display, precision crafted feather-touch keyboard and Bluetooth wireless headphone support. The digital camera is the higher resolution 1.3 megapixel model that was upgraded with the V3c. The case is distinguished by a satiny charcoal color anodized steel gray finish.

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