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Motorola Tests Cell Phone Vending Machines

Motorola is testing out the idea in nearly two dozen malls and airports across the United States. The “Instantmoto” machines feature 12 different handsets and 18 accessories.

The vending machines will certainly catch your eye as they’re about three times the size of a typical device that dispenses pop.

Motorola says it may expand this pilot program if it goes over well in the test sites.

“It provides convenience in a small footprint,” company spokesman John Wernecke said. “These little robotic machines are going to be the future of what’s to come in terms of Motorola’s convenience purchasing.”

Customers will still have the option to personalize their phones and service using the “Instantmoto”. Mid to high level phones like the Razr can be purchased with or without a plan and consumers can choose the colour and style of their phone, along with accessories like adapters and charges, by using a touch screen.

Once all the choices are complete, a robotic arm grabs the phone from a central location, similar to the way ATMs operate, and delivers it to the customer.

Motorola claims it’s the first phone-maker to sell its products using vending machines and is the world’s second-largest mobile phone maker behind Nokia.