Iqbal Arshad knows about that "aha moment," when something just feels right.
The senior vice president of global product development at Motorola Mobility felt that moment when he first held the prototype of Droid Razr M, the latest in a line of ultrathin Android smartphones produced after the legendary clamshell Razr.
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Arshad, who has worked for Motorola for about 10 years, felt that same feeling when saw the latest Android Razrs, the HD, Maxx HD and M, debut about two weeks ago.
He said it started with a number of meetings in Libertyville where engineers focused on combining the features of the original Razr and Droid Razr along with the needs of today's consumers.
"We tried to approach this from two fronts," Arshad said. "First, can we use the set of technology and design and take them to the masses? And second, how do we take Razr to the next level of leading-edge innovation?"
The former Motorola Inc.'s mobile phone division in Libertyville changed the wireless world in 2003 by developing the Razr, the world's first ultrathin mobile phone. At that time, three engineers sat around in Libertyville looking for ways to make a mobile phone that could fit in your pocket. Mobile phones at that time were about 22 millimeters to 25 millimeters, or about 1 inch thick. That's when the engineers threw out the old way of thinking and started innovating on what would become a hit.
The small group developed the concept of the original Razr phone at 13.9 millimeters wide, the sleekest and thinnest clamshell styled phone that changed the way consumers viewed a handset.
In 2011, Motorola Mobility, which had since separated from the mother ship, introduced the first Android ultrathin smartphone called Droid Razr. By the time the Droid was introduced, the engineers were working on others in the portfolio.
Arshad said they focused heavily on M's larger display screen and longer battery as well as the internal functions of all three phones.
"It was a tedious process," Arshad recalled. "We held a lot of meetings to look at ideas, tests and products."
They also worked on a 3-dimensional database that, at first, created a picture of the new Razrs. Then, they "printed" the pictures into a plastic, non-working prototype, he said. That's when the prototype of the Razr M evoked that aha moment, he said.
"When I first felt it in my hand, it felt out of this world," he said.
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