Handset phone competition heating up
By Li Jian (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-03-07 06:14
SUZHOU: BenQ launched its first mobile phone in China under the BenQ-Siemens
brand yesterday, kicking off a strategy to gain a niche in the world's most
dynamic and complex mobile handset market.
BenQ, which acquired Siemens Mobile last year, said it will focus on
expanding its product portfolio in the 3G area while using the multimedia
advantages of BenQ to create handsets which are different to current models.
The new gadget, BenQ-Siemens S88, is expected to help the firm assert its
position in the market, said a top official with the company.
Michael Tseng, associate vice-president of BenQ (IT) Co Ltd, said the new
model, featuring a 2.0-megapixel camera and a mp3/mp4 music player, is aimed at
BenQ Mobile has adopted an aggressive branding strategy and is committed to
building a powerful, global consumer brand.
It plans to launch more than 30 new handset models this year, most of which
are 3G. They offer faster downloads and better picture displaying capabilities,
a threat to other international players such as Nokia and Samsung.
Tseng said BenQ was "hoping to become one of the top five mobile players in
To help achieve that goal, BenQ is attaching more importance to China,
currently dominated by Nokia, Motorola and Samsung. BenQ has also promised to
invest heavily in 3G technology.
Tseng predicted BenQ's market share for mobile handsets would rise to 2 per
cent from zero by the end of 2006.
Although experts doubted BenQ could achieve all its ambitions in China, Tseng
was full of confidence.
"BenQ-Siemens is a unique collaboration, combining German mobile handset
engineering expertise with Asia's outstanding skills in delivering must-have
consumer electronics products," Tseng said.
He said the partnership benefited from the companies' expertise in R&D,
design and ability to reach customers, and most importantly, bridged the
cultural strengths of each company.
BenQ's research and development teams in Munich, German and Suzhou, China are
working hard to design the handsets. Chinese cultural elements such as
calligraphy will be added to the designs.
BenQ is also doing much to attract attention, sponsoring world famous
football club Real Madrid and signing up its Brazil striker Luiz Nazario Ronaldo
to promote the BenQ-Siemens S88 to youngsters.
The BenQ Siemens logo will be featured on the jerseys of Real Madrid's
players for the next five years. BenQ Siemens will also be shown on advertising
space in Real's home stadium.
BenQ has also signed up pop band May Day, which is popular with youngsters.
Competitors are said to be on the alert, watching out for BenQ's next move.
(China Daily 03/07/2006 page10)