Motorola A1000 – Missed opportunity


How do I get it?

Taking into account its limited availability, this model is not very easy to find, especially in a decent state. On eBay they’re relatively rare but also relatively inexpensive with an average price of $50.

Pricing is approximate and current at the time of writing the article. These can vary in time considering fluctuations in the market and availability of the product.


Motorola and NEC have led the 3G vanguard in Europe while names that were much more popular there such as Nokia or Sony Ericsson have taken their time to react. The first models were big, bulky and had dreadful battery life which barely got the user through a single day even if we’re talking feature phones.

A1000 aimed to change this paradigm by trying to prove that a 3G phone (and a smartphone at that) could be relatively compact and elegant and could last for a whole day. Having gone through two commercially unsuccessful iterations, Motorola’s A-series got its first mature device with a refined design and updated hardware. The same attention to detail hasn’t gone into the software, though. By comparison, the only other Symbian UIQ competition came from Sony Ericsson and their P-line smartphones which had worse cameras and multimedia features, but a much better thought out application set out of the box. The handwriting system was also much more intuitive on the Sony Ericsson side. Despite this, Motorola has managed to show us what the future of mobile phones would look like and heralded the day when the user experience would be centered around the display and less around the hardware buttons would be getting fewer and fewer. A1000 was ahead of its time in a manner of speaking and even though Windows Mobile PDA-Phones have been doing that for a while, the A1000 did it in a more compact package and with 3G.

Sadly, its limited availability that resulted from Motorola’s partnership with Hutchinson have severely restricted its chances to make it on the market. It was certainly an interesting device and a veritable adversary for Sony Ericsson’s P-series smartphones. Sadly, 3G’s lack of popularity when it first became available didn’t help the A1000’s cause much even in countries where it was readily available. It became just a footnote in the history of mobile phones while Nokia were just coming out with their own first 3G smartphone, the 6630 with a better camera and running the hugely popular Symbian S60, practically leaving Motorola to eat its dust in the 3G smartphone race.

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