Was the Launch of the Motorola RAZR Canceled Due to Taiwan Tensions?

Was the Launch of the Motorola RAZR Canceled Due to Taiwan Tensions?

A new RAZR smartphone was scheduled to arrive this summer, but its unveiling was abruptly canceled this week. 

The Motorola RAZR was an incredibly popular cell phone in the pre-smartphone era. Sporting a cool, foldable clamshell design, the original RAZR arrived in 2004 and sold well before it was eventually overtaken by the earliest smartphones, including the original 2007 iPhone.

The RAZR brand has been revived various times in the years since, including with the Droid RAZR smartphone in 2011 and again as a foldable phone in 2019. 

A new RAZR smartphone was scheduled to arrive this summer but its unveiling was abruptly canceled this week. 

Android Authority reported Tuesday that after weeks of teasing a launch event in China, with both the new RAZR 2022 and another phone called the X30 Pro. 

“I’m sorry to inform you that the Moto new product launch scheduled for 7:30 tonight has been canceled for some reason,” Motorola and Lenovo mobile general manager Chen Jin said in a Weibo post, as translated by Android Authority.

“We are deeply sorry for this and thank you for your enthusiastic support for Moto’s new products. For information about new products, you can continue to pay attention to Moto’s official information platform,” an official account from the company said. 

There was no official reason given for the cancellation, although the site speculated that it could be related to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan on Tuesday, which has drawn angry denunciations from the Chinese government. 

According to GizmoChina, the RAZR and X30 Pro had received HDR10+ certification just a day before the scheduled but now-scrapped launch. One leaker even published a photo of the phone. 

“Based on leaks about the new phone, the Motorola Razr 2022 looked to reverse that. The new phone is expected to use a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 system-on-chip, the most powerful silicon currently available to Android phones,” Tom's Guide said of the new version of the phone. “The 2022 version of the Razr is also set to feature a 6.7-inch folding display with a larger cover display on the phone's exterior. Leaked images of the upcoming phone also show a less prominent chin on the bottom of the main display, addressing a frequent complaint about earlier Motorola Razrs.”

It’s not clear if the phone, whenever it arrives, will be available in the United States. 

The Chinese company Lenovo has owned Motorola Mobility, the device side of Motorola, since 2014. The division had split off from Motorola in 2011 and was then acquired by Google the following year before the company sold the division to Lenovo. The original RAZR arrived when Motorola was still a united company. 

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters.