Magazine article Newsweek

Can the Q Be the Razr of PDAs? Motorola's New Contender Has Buzz, but Isn't Even out Yet. the BlackBerry Folks Are Already Dismissing It

Magazine article Newsweek

Can the Q Be the Razr of PDAs? Motorola's New Contender Has Buzz, but Isn't Even out Yet. the BlackBerry Folks Are Already Dismissing It

Article excerpt

Byline: Brad Stone

Thumb-tapping e-mailers will have some tough decisions to make in the coming months. A wave of keyboard-equipped mobile phones, many already available in Europe and Asia, is about to hit the U.S. market, making the RIM BlackBerry and Palm Treo look a lot less distinctive. Each newcomer is a bit different. The HP iPaq 6500 has a centrally positioned thumbwheel; the Samsung i730 has a screen that slides back to reveal the keyboard, and the Nokia 9300 cracks open along its side to reveal its keyboard.

But one mobile phone strikes a slightly more distinctive profile than the others: the Motorola Q. The Illinois-based Motorola announced its contender in the wireless e-mail wars in July, and even though the device won't be out until next year, it has generated tons of attention on the Internet for one basic reason: it's thin. The company based the Q on the design of its hit Razr phone. Like the first Razr, the Q is silver and slender and, at 11.5mm thick, about half the width of most of its rivals. It also weighs a wispy 4.5 ounces. "We thought it had to be able to slip into the shirt pocket and not drag the pocket down to your belt," says Motorola vice president Mark Shockley.

These are the kinds of stats and statements that make gadget hounds drool. But not everyone is heaping praise on the Q just yet. Analysts want to know which mobile e-mail system Motorola will pack onto the device. Can you use, for example, BlackBerry e-mail on the Q? For now, Motorola will say only that the device will support Microsoft's mobile e-mail service. …

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