The first of four planned Motorola retail outlets in China opened Thursday in Shanghai. This “Global Flagship” location follows the establishment of 50 smaller outlets in China, Russia, Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia. The flagship concept, if successful here, will likely be implemented in other countries, though the U.S. is not on that list. Jeremy Dale, Motorola’s vice president of global retail and channel marketing, explains that wireless carriers are the chief sellers of mobile phones in the U.S., whereas retail stores are the more preeminent cell phone source in much of the rest of the world. However, Nokia, one of Motorola’s chief competitors, has a flagship store in Michigan with plans to open another in New York.
The Shanghai store boasts a variety of special features, including shop windows that double as speakers, playing product pitches to entice traffic. This technology is called “whispering windows.” Another high-tech draw is the ability for customers to create a “phone tattoo” using in-store laser etching.
Motorola’s market share in China has risen to about 20 percent from nearly 13 percent in Q4 2005. Michael Tatelman, general manager for Motorola’s mobile devices division for North Asia, forecasts, “Based on what we have on the ground today, we ought to be able to achieve 25 percent share in China in the not-too-distant future.”
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