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Moto employs vending machines with gentle hands

Robotic stores will, according to Motorola, revolutionise the way we buy mobile phones and to prove its point, the world’s second largest manufacturer of mobiles, unveiled its Instantmoto stores on Wednesday.

However, as with all marketing speak, the description may be misleading as the ‘stores’ are actually vending machines, just like the often-kicked machines that dispense chocolate in most western cities.

Moto said the machines will hold 30 products initially, including 12 phones and 18 accessories, and are destined for 20 shopping malls and airports across the US as part of a pilot program.

Motorola said the rollout is just a pilot and the success of the machines will decide the fate of the Instantmoto project.

According to the firm, customers can buy some for the company’s best known models including the Razr and the Q.

Since a brand new Q handset is significantly more valuable than a Mars bar, the machines will not be hurling the phones into a trough for collection. Instead the Instantmoto will hand the phone to its new owner, using its robotic arm.

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