Based on the rate of claims made on thousands of warranties issued for the Motorola Razr V3, SquareTrade has announced the popular cell phone has an 18% failure rate over a two-year period of normal use.
These numbers reflect Motorola Razrs purchased in brand-new condition, across all hardware generations and carriers. Accidental Damage claims were not included.
The overwhelming majority of Razr claims - 58% - were unexplained general failures that rendered the phone completely unusable. Razrs bricked in this way were reimbursed without an attempt to repair. No satisfactory cause was determined for these failures, though they were determined to be mechanical or electrical in nature. Software errors, not covered by SquareTrade's warranty, were ruled out.
T-Mobile and Cingular Wireless suspended sales of Razr handsets for several days in March 2006 - during the SquareTrade study's time frame - due to a component issue that led to widespread dropped calls and power-downs. Motorola never disclosed which component caused the problems. SquareTrade's report shows a 4.5% dropped call claim rate, and 5.2% unexpected power-downs on a charged battery. By comparison, 8% of all Razr screens failed in the first two years, with keypad breakdowns following at 5.7%.
Other major issues included phones that couldn't be shut down or turned on (5.5%), and phones that either could not call out or had poor call quality (4.5%). The Razr's well-known battery issues only accounted for 3.7% of all Razr problems.
The Razr's slick design put Motorola at the top of the cellular phone market when it became available to the masses in 2005, but it's since been overshadowed by more powerful smart phones. While the Apple iPhone, Blackberry, and various LG phones have brought a steady stream of new features and innovations to consumers, the once-dominant Razr has only seen a few scant upgrades to its original design. A recent CEO shakeup and layoffs followed a disastrous few quarters that have many speculating the company will only break even when final numbers for 2007 are released.
Despite loosing 10% of their global market share in six months, last summer's introduction of the RAZR2 and a lack of new announcements at this year's CES indicates Motorola is sticking by its guns.
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Motorola Razr problems, Razr warranty