Siemens is planning a major partnership with a mobile phone manufacturer as it takes a second attempt at cracking the global mobile phone market.
After aiming mainly at the high end user and missing out on the potential market share boom driven by lower end phones, Siemens is making mobile phone development a priority as it attempts to overtake Motorola and threaten the dominance of Nokia and Ericsson.
"Our goal is to become number three in the mobile phone business," said Volker Jung, head of Siemens? Information and Communications business, speaking at a showcase event in Berlin today. Siemens is currently around number five in terms of units shipped.
"We will invest a lot of money,? said Jung, "and most probably will partner with somebody to reduce development costs.? Jung stressed that any partnership would be for research and development only and any product would be Siemens badged.
"Our problems last year were due to the fact that we concentrated on the high end [mobile phones],? Volker explained. This was also true for some of Siemens? competitors, he added.
"If we want to survive, we have to have a full product line, from low end appliances ? such as phones for kids ? to high end applications,? he said.
High end phones on show at the showcase here included a prototype of a third generation mobile phone, with built in video camera and screen, that allows mobile videoconferencing. Also on show was a personal digital assistant with built in GSM functionality.
Siemens today previewed what it described as its first low end mobile phone, although the handset includes desirable dual band funcionality, giving users greater roaming between different network types ? in particular between the US and the UK.
The company is also working on other applications for the GSM mobile phone system, including upgrading railway communications systems.
"GSM will replace the wide variety of railway commuications systems used in Europe, and provide the opportunity for other services, such as information terminals on trains,? said Volker.
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