Motorola Offers Trade-In Program to Lure Professionals to Android
By BRIAN X. CHEN
Motorola Mobility is willing to pay you to buy one of its phones. The company is starting a trade-in program on Tuesday offering $200 to people who swap their older devices for a Motorola smartphone that comes with Google’s Android software.
The program is aiming at professional customers who want a smartphone for both personal and business use, according to the Chicago Tribune, which first reported the story. Along with the money offer, Motorola Mobility, soon to be part of Google, is also offering an information technology service for professional customers to set up their accounts, transfer contacts and coordinate with corporate I.T. departments, according to a Motorola Mobility spokesman.
The trade-in program is part of a larger strategy by Motorola Mobility to attract professional customers, but because Google is acquiring Motorola Mobility, this is essentially part of the search giant’s push to make Android more popular in the enterprise market.
Both Apple and Google’s growing presence in the business market pose a threat to Research in Motion, whose keyboard-equipped BlackBerry devices were once the industry standard for professionals. RIM has said that its answer to the increasing popularity of Android devices and the iPhone is a new version of the BlackBerry software, called BlackBerry 10, but it won’t come out until late this year. Thorsten Heins, the company’s new chief executive, said in a recent interview that the new software would address the “consumerization of I.T.,” a reference to the growing trend of businesses letting their employees choose which devices they bring to work.
Customers who participate in Motorola’s trade-in program have their pick of 16 devices, including the Motorola Droid Razr, Atrix 4G and Photon 4G. To get the cash back, customers must fill out information on the older devices they are trading in at Motorola’s “Switch” Web site and provide a proof of purchase for one of the Motorola devices.