Foldable Moto Razr Reportedly On-Track for Late 2019 Debut

 

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The rumor mill has been abuzz about Motorola’s supposed folding phone all year, and a new report says the device is still on track for a 2019 debut. Motorola initially wanted to launch the phone over the summer, but that didn’t work out. It’s now expecting to announce the device at the very end of 2019.

Foldable phones are a popular diversion among smartphone makers right now. Samsung just re-launched the Galaxy Fold, and Huawei has shown off the Mate X foldable a few times. The high price tag and general fragility of these devices have made them a tough sell, though. The Motorola foldable might have a leg up because it’s allegedly a bit less ambitious and will cultivate technology nostalgia.

A Motorola patent showing a Razr-style folding phone.

Based on leaks and a recent Motorola patent filing, we expect the foldable to be a revamp of the classic Razr flip phone. Instead of a small screen and a keypad, the new Razr will have a large folding OLED inside. There will reportedly still be a small display on the outside like the classic phone. The Galaxy Fold and Mate X both have giant tablet-sized folding displays, which no doubt increase the cost. While we don’t expect the Razr to be cheap, it’s not going to cost $2,000 like the Fold — previous leaks have pointed to around $1,500.

We don’t know why Motorola pushed back the launch of its foldable, but it might have something to do with Samsung. Analysts speculate that Motorola is watching how consumers respond to the Galaxy Fold to help it decide how to position the new Razr. Samsung delayed the Fold to rework its design, so Motorola decided to hold off as well.

A render of the alleged foldable Razr.

This timeline matches previous leaks, and it fits makes sense in the context of Motorola’s current product lineup. Over the summer, Moto announced the Moto Z4, which is a mid-range phoneSEEAMAZON_ET_135 See Amazon ET commerce rather than a flagship. There are no flagship phones in its 2019 lineup at all. The foldable Razr might have been meant as a summer blockbuster that would distract from the company’s yawn-inducing G and Z phones.

The source for this report can only say the announcement is currently on the books for the last few weeks of the year. It’s possible the phone won’t be available for purchase until 2020.

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