Ina Fried

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Motorola CEO: We’re Going to Release Fewer Phones This Year

While the trend has been for Android device makers to throw new models off the assembly line at a dizzying pace, at least one phone manufacturer is stepping off the treadmill.

Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha said his company plans to release fewer new models this year, in an effort to concentrate its marketing dollars.

“A lot of products that are roughly the same doesn’t drive the market to a new place,” Jha said on Tuesday in a roundtable meeting with reporters. Of course, it is an interesting statement from a company that released the Droid Bionic and Droid Razr in rapid succession, followed on Monday by the Droid Razr Maxx — a version of the Droid Razr with a bigger battery.

Jha noted that it was a delay in the Bionic that caused that product’s debut to be so close in timing to the Razr.

Asked whether he thinks Motorola would be better off if others also slowed their launches or if he prefers them to continue their current pace, Jha demurred.

“I made this decision independent of what the others will do,” he said. “We’re doing what we think is the right thing.”

Jha also said the company plans to pursue fewer new ideas in an effort to make more things stick.

The shift comes at a key time for Motorola, which is in the process of trying to sell itself to Google. The company also warned last week that fourth-quarter sales would come in below what most analysts had been expecting.

Last year the company introduced the notion of a lap dock in which phones could be plugged into a bigger screen and keyboard to perform many of the same tasks as a laptop.

Jha conceded that the product hasn’t been the commercial success it hoped nor did customers find it delivered the performance they were looking for.

However, Jha said that the company is making further refinements and still believes in the concept for the future.

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