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Motorola Q Phone Receives Mixed Reaction

MarketWatch reports that since coming on the market in June, Motorola Inc.'s much-hyped Q smartphone has sold at a steady pace. Now the question is whether the company can meet their aggressive sales target.

Investors will get a clearer idea of how well the Q is selling when Motorola reports second-quarter results. The company expects to ship 1.5 million units in the first 180 days, though Motorola has shown signs it could deliver 2 million units, according to some analysts.

Like other smartphones, the Q is visually appealing, with its sleek keyboard, color screen and Internet capabilities. It also plays video and music. Critics, however, it's not as 'easy to use' as competing devices offered by Research In Motion Ltd. and Palm Inc., and is less suitable for serious business users.

So, what exactly is the target market for this new device? According to James Faucette, an analyst with PacificCrest, the retailers he has polled say "wide appeal has been limited" for the Q, though the device has sold "reasonably well" for a new smartphone on the market.

Yet, wide appeal is exactly what Motorola seeks. The company wants to push the device particularly to consumers, few of whom currently own smartphones. Most users for now are executives, businesspeople and professional workers. Analyst Albert Lin of American Technology Research says Motorola can meet its initial six-month goal, but he expects sales to taper off in the long run unless the company makes big improvements to the Q.

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