October 3, 2023

From Samsung to Motorola and Google, nearly each main Android telephone maker has launched a foldable telephone. However there’s one large, non-Android outlier: Apple. And in line with Motorola, that is prompting some iPhone customers to make the change. 

Particularly, Motorola has seen 20% of latest Razr customers coming from Apple merchandise. That knowledge level is from 2021 following the launch of the previous-generation Razr. 

“That is undoubtedly the household that we’ve got probably the most quantity of iPhone customers switching to us,” Allison Yi, Motorola’s head of North America product operations, stated to CNET forward of the corporate’s Razr Plus launch.

Foldable telephones nonetheless account for a fraction of the worldwide smartphone market, however the class is rising shortly as tech giants seek for the subsequent main evolution of the cell phone. Market analysis agency Worldwide Information Company estimates that worldwide shipments of foldables will improve greater than 50% in 2023 in comparison with 2022. Motorola’s Razr line faces probably the most competitors from Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip sequence, though Samsung hasn’t damaged out its gross sales numbers to specify its proportion of iPhone converts.

This 12 months is shaping as much as be a milestone second for foldables with the arrival of newcomers together with Google and OnePlus, giving Motorola and different early entrants like Samsung extra competitors. Apple, nevertheless, continues to be noticeably absent from the foldable telephone race, and that is not prone to change anytime too quickly.


Apple hasn’t launched a foldable iPhone, nor has it introduced any plans to take action. However these renders by YouTuber ConceptsiPhone imagines what a foldable iPhone may appear to be. 


Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with TF Worldwide Securities identified for his Apple product predictions, tweeted in April 2022 that he does not count on Apple to launch its first foldable gadget till 2025. A research from Counterpoint Analysis suggests there is definitely demand for a foldable iPhone, not less than within the US. Among the many respondents, 39% named Apple as their most well-liked model for a foldable telephone, whereas 46% named Samsung — one of many earliest and most dominant gamers in foldable telephones. Solely 6% stated Motorola.

The brand new Razr Plus and 2023 Razr are the corporate’s newest makes an attempt to vary that. The $1,000 Razr Plus, introduced on Thursday and launching on June 23, has an enormous cowl display that the corporate is betting will set it other than rivals just like the Galaxy Z Flip 4. Motorola can be launching a less expensive model of the Razr later this 12 months for an undisclosed worth that can be cheaper than the Plus mannequin.

However whether or not it is competitors from Samsung or finally the long-rumored iPhone Flip, Motorola is not fixated on its rivals.

“It is not about what our competitors is doing,” Yi stated. “It is extra of what the buyer wants are, what shoppers are wanting, fairly than actually specializing in competitors.”

The Motorola Razr Plus cover screen showing the weather

The Motorola Razr Plus 

John Kim/CNET

As first-timers like Google are simply entering into foldable telephones in 2023, corporations like Motorola and Samsung are already brainstorming what might be subsequent. Each corporations earlier this 12 months showcased idea gadgets with rollable or slidable screens that may broaden as wanted earlier. Motorola’s take entails a smartphone-sized machine that may unroll to increase its show with the press of a button. It is nonetheless an idea, and Motorola hasn’t stated when or if this rollable telephone will graduate to changing into an actual product. 

However Jeff Snow, Motorola’s product supervisor for premium and flagship gadgets, stated he may finally see it changing into an “offshoot” of the Razr we all know immediately. Whereas each the Razr and the rollable idea intention to make telephones extra moveable, they execute that objective by way of totally different means. The Razr’s clamshell form permits it to fold shut, perform as a daily telephone when opened or function one thing in between when propped open midway. The rollable idea adjustments its form otherwise by increasing and contracting its display.

“It is just a little little bit of a special expertise,” stated Snow. “However we see it changing into a part of the identical class.” 

Motorola's rollable phone concept

Motorola’s rollable telephone idea

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Motorola can be evaluating bigger book-style foldables just like the Galaxy Z Fold, though Yi stated she could not touch upon future merchandise. Snow additionally stated there’s “advantage to that type issue,” however the firm would have to verify it isn’t compromising the common telephone expertise whereas additionally offering improved productiveness and content material consumption. 

“That house is taking off,” he stated. “It is one thing we’ll take note of.”

For now, the Razr Plus is Motorola’s largest try at standing out in a crowded market, particularly as Samsung and Apple proceed to command the worldwide smartphone market. The mix of expertise enhancing and broader consciousness round foldables makes now the precise time for a brand new Razr, in line with Yi.

“Typically you see the expertise is prepared, however the market will not be prepared to just accept it,” she stated. “And shoppers will not be keen to adapt or undertake. However on this case, we actually really feel that that is the precise time.” 

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