LAS VEGAS — Historically, when you talked about cell phones and the companies that made them, the name Motorola was at the very top of the list.
In its heyday, Motorola (Stock Quote: MOT) was the ultimate innovator—the Apple (Stock Quote: AAPL), Research In Motion (Stock Quote: RIMM), Nokia (Stock Quote: NOK), Samsung, LG, HTC, Google (Stock Quote: GOOG) and Microsoft (Stock Quote: MSFT) of cell phones all rolled into one.
They were the innovators. They were the sales leaders. They could charge $1,000 for new handsets and get away with it. In 2009, that's ancient history.
These days, Motorola still sells cell phones, many overseas in emerging markets. They're no longer the industry leaders they once were, but that doesn't mean their new products should be overlooked.
Here at the CTIA wireless conference, Motorola announced one new phone, the Evoke QA4. It is not a high-end, super-duper smartphone by any means. But it is a nicely designed handset for the much more lucrative end of the buying public scale: people who spend $100 or less on a new cell phone.
Motorola calls the Evoke "a socially-inclined device." It sports a good-looking, candy bar design with a 2.8-inch full touch-screen. Motorola points out that the phone supports a number of different messaging styles. It is equipped with an accelerometer, so that you can turn it on its side to reveal a full-touch QWERTY keyboard for easy texting.