Motorola Droid Razr shunned by UK operators

The slimline smartphone has gone on sale in the UK without the support of the majority of UK mobile operators, though it is available from some retailers, as Motorola bids to build its market share

The Motorola Droid Razr officially went on sale in the UK on Thursday, but buyers may not be able to get it on their chosen network as four of the five major UK operators will not be stocking the handset.

Motorola Droid Razr

The Motorola Droid Razr will only be stocked by O2, as most major operators have ruled out selling the device. Photo credit: Ben Woods

The slimline Droid Razr, which measures just 7.1mm thick, is available from online retailers such as Phones4U and Carphone Warehouse on a range of price plans, with service provided by Orange or Vodafone.

However, O2 is the only operator that confirmed it will carry the device. It is not selling it now, but will do in future, O2 told ZDNet UK, but could not give a date. Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Three said they had no intention of providing the Droid Razr under any of their mobile plans.

"T-Mobile has no current plans to offer the Samsung Galaxy Nexus or the Droid Razr. However, we do offer our customers a full range of other high-end devices, including iPhone 4S, the Samsung Galaxy S II and the HTC Sensation XE Beats," a T-Mobile spokesman said.

The lack of UK operator support will come as a blow to Motorola, which is hoping to re-invigorate interest in its smartphone line-up by bringing the classic Razr brand back to life.

Carolina Milanesi, mobile analyst at Gartner, doubted whether the new model would have given the US handset maker a boost in Europe. "Motorola's brand share in Western Europe remains pretty weak, and the Razr brand is not going to change that in the short term," she said.

She added it is unsurprising that operators are not willing to take a gamble on the Razr, in the run-up to Christmas. "The fourth quarter is going to be very busy, and operators are betting on the brand that they know they will see good demand for," Milanesi said.

The Droid Razr is going up against handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which has similar hardware and functionality but uses the newest version of the Google Android operating system — version 4.0 — called Ice Cream Sandwich. By contrast, the Razr runs on Android 2.3.5, or Gingerbread, though Motorola has already confirmed that the Razr will be eligible for an update to Ice Cream Sandwich early in 2012.

In addition to shunning the Razr, T-Mobile sister brand Orange said it has no intention of offering the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which also launched on Thursday.


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