FORTUNE has a great article on the story behind the Motorola RAZR. A phone that was to help revitalize the company’s image wound up turning into a commercial success that they never expected. It also proves that companies can make great phones when they aren’t listening to everything the wireless companies want. It’s definitely worth a read.
“The phone was supposed to be something beautiful, like jewelry - a pricey gem in the $500 range at retail, rather than a mass-market staple. Motorola needed a reputation builder, badly. The moneymaker phones would come after, or so the plan went, piggybacking on the company’s restored allure.”
“The ‘thin clam’ project became a rebel outpost. Money wasn’t an object, but secrecy and speed were. Normally Motorola consults closely with the wireless companies that sell the phones to try to integrate whatever favorite features they request. It also conducts ‘mall intercepts’ to gauge consumers’ reaction.
Not this time. Jellicoe hid the details of the project even from company colleagues.”