BenQ to liquidate former Siemens Mobile

3 Jan 2007

After failing to find a new investor Taiwanese electronics giant BenQ is to liquidate the mobile phone division that it took over from Siemens AG two years ago.

It is understood that insolvency proceedings will commence at the unprofitable unit three months after the Munich-based operator filed for bankruptcy protection.

It is feared that as many as 3,000 workers in the former Siemens mobile division could lose their jobs as a result.

The Siemens mobile division was once ranked among the world’s top mobile phone makers but under its new owners BenQ it failed to yield market share from players such as Nokia.

Analysts blame the collapse on the competitive nature of the mobile industry worldwide where some 100 manufacturers vie for consumers’ cash. It has also been suggested that management of BenQ Mobile failed to launch new products in time.

The five largest mobile makers in the world — Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and LG — account for 82pc of all mobile phones sold.

According to Gartner, BenQ shipped 6.1 million phone units in the third quarter and global market share fell to 2.4pc, compared with 35.1pc and some 88 million handsets sold by Nokia.

BenQ Mobile was created two years ago after Siemens paid BenQ US$97.5m to take the business off its hands.

Analysts are predicting further industry consolidation, with players such as Sanyo, Sagem and NEC tipped to be possible takeover targets.

By John Kennedy