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Flip phones – the early stage

It was a time around 2005 or 2006. I remember this period where every adult around me had a flip model phone. They were a craze among every mobile phone user out there. They were marked as fashion symbols through actors, actresses, pop-artists flipping them in their respective sitcoms, movies, and video albums. They were everywhere. They were idealized with sass such as whenever someone hangs up on the other person they just had to shut their flip phone. Good examples would be some parts in the series “Gossip Girl” and the character Max from the series “2 Broke girls” who liked her flip-model phone very much and refuses to change to a new touch screen phone.

Nokia maybe the company that saw success with it’s monochrome, nine button, cheap model phones but Motorola proved that a phone with a good design will sell even more. Motorola was the first company to introduce this “clam-shell” design or the so-called “flip-model” phones. The first one was StarTAC 130 released in January of 1996.




All of those StarTAC models had the buttons on one side and just the receiver on the other side. All of the models succeeding this StarTAC series concerning Motorola and other brands were chunky and didn’t have a sleek design. Then came Motorola RAZR.

The Flip phone that changed the rules


Motorola RazrV3 was released in July 2004. This flip phone took over the world. The main USPs or the Unique Selling Point as we call it was the thin design and metallic body. This was a factor that their competitors didn’t have. This created the advent of the whole RAZR series by Motorola. These flip phones became trendsetters and a very necessary fashion accessory, which resulted in a whopping 50 million units sold by the end of 2006. This was a very wildly successful product.

For every product that hits the market, there is the introductory phase, the growth phase, the maturity of the saturation phase and the decline phase. Flip model phones also faced their decline phase with the introduction of phones with better user interfaces, touch screens and the like. Thus they became a fad. In fashion terms, a fad is a thing, culture or a product that received a huge load of interest and enthusiasm for a short-lived period. A classic, on the other hand, is a product or a trend that finds its way into the market or never leaves the market due to its versatility or the diversification made to it.

Motorola has confirmed that its most iconic RAZR model will be making a come back into the market. This flip model phone will have a 6.2-inch foldable plastic OLED panel and an Android 9 Pie. This is expected to hit the market by January 2020 with a price of USD 1499. Even though this is a diversified product according to the market’s current needs and trends, will it make a comeback or will it not. The foldable screen is subject to the required quality. Will Motorola meet the demands that Samsung left to meet? We’ll have to wait and see


Written by Anisha R – NIFT Bangalore

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