Insert Lame "New Moto Phone CLIQs With Investors" Pun Here
Motorola is getting a bit of long lost love from Wall Street today, now that it has unveiled the CLIQ–the Android-powered handset with which it hopes to regain market share in the intensely competitive cellphone business. Shares in the company spiked more than seven percent after the CLIQ announcement Thursday, and today they’re up well over six percent at $8.49.
Clearly, there’s quite a bit of enthusiasm around the device and its Motoblur feature, which connects a variety of social networking services to the phone’s core functions.
Said Mark Sue, an analyst at RBC Capital: “Our initial take is favorable, and it seems that Motorola is carving out a niche in the crowded smartphone market by focusing on socially minded demographics as opposed to enterprise users or pro-sumers. We think it’s a step in the right direction.”
C.L. King analyst Lawrence Harris was similarly impressed. “Our initial impression of the CLIQ is that it is not an iPhone killer, but that it will be a contender,” he said in a research note issued today. “…Initial reviews suggest that the CLIQ’s build quality is excellent with a solid keyboard, two important selling points.”
And Tavis McCourt at Morgan Keegan said the CLIQ is a credible device–assuming Motorola (MOT) can sell enough of them. “MOTOBLUR clearly differentiates a Motorola Android-based smartphone from others on the market and provides Motorola a fighting chance at successfully turning around Mobile Devices with Android-based devices,” he noted today.
“The CLIQ appears to be a solid touch screen smartphone,” McCourt added, “but we will defer from offering a more confident opinion until we get a chance to test one and note that we expect the upcoming Motorola Android-based device for Verizon Wireless may be somewhat more impressive. We believe Motorola ultimately needs to sell about 2 million smartphones/quarter in order to become sustainably profitable in its Mobile Devices business.”
McCourt’s conclusion: “Given Motorola’s global distribution, this does not require a ‘home run’ product, but only a series of ‘solid’ products. The CLIQ appears to be a good first step in this turnaround.”