New mobile consumer
brand emerges

20 Jan 2006

Following its acquisition of Siemens’ mobile division last year, Asian consumer giant BenQ has revealed that the new branding for the mobile phone player will be BenQ-Siemens. The new company will focus on expanding into 3G and playing on the multimedia strengths of BenQ to differentiate itself in the market.

It is understood that BenQ will be announcing a country manager for Ireland for the new brand in the next month.

Last June, BenQ announced its acquisition of Siemens’ troubled mobile phone division. Described as a “partnership”, Siemens said it would invest in BenQ by purchasing shares of the company, which will be headquartered in Munich. The transaction also included the rights to the Siemens brand name, which BenQ will be allowed to use for a total of five years.

In its Asian home market, BenQ already numbers amongst the fastest-growing vendors in the mobile segment. The acquisition of Siemens’ mobile division will enable BenQ to implement an ambitious plan for global expansion, particularly in markets that Siemens has leading-market positions such as Eastern Europe and Latin America.

It is understood the integration of the two companies began in October last, with most of the research and development and manufacturing being based in Munich. Jerry Wang, executive vice-president and chief marketing officer of BenQ Corporation said the new entity will take advantage of an increasingly Asia-centred mobile devices business.

“We have now successfully united the two companies at an operation level and now start of the next phase in our development – to engage consumers worldwide with the spirit and energy of our combined BenQ-Siemens brand. I believe we have the focus, resources and passion to invigorate the market in 2006, especially in 3G and that our strategy will lead to a sustainable and successful handset business that commands a significant share of the market,” Wang said.

To mark the launch of the new brand, BenQ-Siemens unveiled the first three products to carry the joint brand name – EF81, S68 and S88. All feature slim design and premium metallic finishing but it is the EF81 in particular that provides an indication of the future roadmap: miniaturisation of high-speed UMTS technology in an ultra-thin magnesium clamshell design.

BenQ-Siemens has committed that at least a third of its products launched in 2006 will be 3G and that there will be a significant focus on multimedia; every three out of four products featuring a music player or FM radio and every second phone offering a minimum 1.3MP camera.

By John Kennedy