The history of German Siemens phones finally came to its finale. What started as a bold attempt to win world domination in the terminal market resulted in a series of financial and social scandals, and BenQ put a fat point in this drama. The spring of the situation started to develop in 2003, when the management of the company took a number of erroneous decisions, and most importantly concealed its blunders for demagogic rhetoric, without trying to make efforts to correct the situation. It can be safely assumed that the 45 line of Siemens devices was the growth of the company, while from the 55 series to today there is a deterioration in the quality of products, a decrease in interest in them in the market.
We can not say that Siemens did not understand the whole gravity of the situation, this understanding was present. But, unlike other companies, this manufacturer tried to get rid of problems not in the usual way, finding a way to solve them, and shifting these problems to others. Already in 2002, rumors begin to circulate actively that it is possible to merge the Siemens mobile unit with one of the Asian manufacturers. The reason is called the growing competition in the market, the need to transfer production capacity to Asia. The name Motorola constantly pops up against the background of such rumors, this card is played out annually, at the same time. I would venture to assume that such statements were only in the hands of Siemens Mobile, because the "rumors" left outside the very end of the financial year of the company and affected its actions. True, the market quickly got used to these rumors and got used to the idea that the company would be sold, interested only in the name of the buyer.
In mid-2005 it became known that such a "buyer" would be the company BenQ, which did not show itself in the mobile phone market until that moment and was known only in the Asian market, had very modest success there. The main business for BenQ was the production of LCD monitors, the company has proven itself in this field. But, with ambitions to become a world-famous player, lacked a good product portfolio, so the proposal from Siemens Mobile looked tempting.
In the first half of 2005, the Siemens mobile division turned into a real headache, the company lost from 1.5 to 2 million euros per day, the market share declined in the world to 5.4% by June 2005 (data from Strategy Analytics). The situation could be remedied only by a miracle or by entering the market of an extremely successful product line. Counting on the second in the company did not, because they soberly evaluated their strength, by the time the number of developers of telephones was cut as much as possible (within two years the company staff was reduced to reduce costs). The remaining team was not able to physically support existing phones and simultaneously create software for new ones. The result was visible to ordinary consumers in the terrible quality of software, instability of devices, the creation, since 2003, of the reputation of Siemens machines as unstable, poorly working. Correct their own mistakes in Siemens was not accepted, from the stands was heard brave rhetoric. One of the directors of the company, giving an interview to me, was happy to talk about the success of the line of fashionable Xelibri phones, although at that time it was already known about their deafening failure in the market, as well as the curtailment of all works in this direction. Approximately the same way it is possible to characterize all attempts of the company to stabilize "confusion and reeling", instead of real cases, their substitutes were proposed in the form of colorful rhetoric.
Therefore, it was no surprise that the Siemens Mobile division was billed as a separate business unit (legal entity) and donated to BenQ. Especially I repeat: given. And to the gift, under the terms of the agreement, Siemens had to pay 250 million Euros in net money, plus 50 million Euros in the form of a purchase of BenQ shares. Let me quote the other points of the deal:
BenQ is authorized to use the Siemens brand for mobile phones for 18 months from the date of the transaction and the joint rights to use the BenQ-Siemens trademark for 5 years.
Siemens completely gives up production located in Brazil (Manaus), as well as Germany (Kamp-Lintfort).
BenQ obtains the rights to use all intellectual property, patents owned by Siemens Mobile.
For production in Shanghai and the R & D center a joint venture is being established, it is managed by two partners, Siemens and BenQ. The company BenQ guarantees the work of this enterprise, its workload for 3 years.
BenQ gets a 8.4 percent stake in Siemens in the Symbian consortium.
Siemens acquires a 2% stake in BenQ in the amount of 50 million euros.
Siemens invests € 250 million in the process of integrating its business with BenQ.
Since October 1, 2005, BenQ Mobile has begun its operational activities, received access.
Some Siemens Mobile Manuals PDF above the page.
Only German production and Siemens Mobile office become bankrupt, while offices in other countries are not formally affected. But this is only formal. In the structure of BenQ Mobile, all the centers of customer care, that is, the service, were concentrated in Germany. It was this country that provided logistics for services throughout Europe, as well as the delivery of spare parts, planning and the like. The paralysis of the German office will affect the work of this unit, which in turn means massive problems with the service for ordinary consumers. Since January 2007 or a little later such problems will rise in full growth. But BenQ Mobile is not interested in this problem, because the company will develop in Asia, and the European consumer will receive as many products as the company will have followers. It would seem that on September 28 a fat cross was put on life, but the company's death can not pass without the presentation of its remarkable management.
In a hurry, on September 30, a press conference took place in Munich, where Clemens Joos objected to the bankruptcy procedure and argued that "this is a wrong decision to stop financing, we have passed the reorganization process by 70 percent." Also one of the calls to consumers was the desire to buy BenQ Siemens phones to help the company in a difficult moment. In my opinion, this is the height of disrespect for management, which destroyed the company and tries to shift the problems to consumers.
In any case, on Friday, an external manager was introduced into the company, he said for various publications, he received proposals to sell the company from its competitors. How likely that there are willing to buy this unit - it is unclear, most likely, they are not, or the cost will be minimal.
But here there is a completely different story. The workers' union declares that it is Siemens that is responsible for the bankruptcy of the company, and only this company must comply with the strictness of the German laws. The decision for the union is elegant, since it's impossible to get anything with BenQ. Siemens receives a blow from which it tried to leave initially.
Siemens also made several statements, in particular, it was said that the company intends to take a number of legal steps against BenQ. What to read behind these words is unclear, but it can be assumed that BenQ will not receive the money that was promised for the unprofitable unit.
Litigation in such a delicate matter can drag on for years, but the legacy of Siemens Mobile is already ruined. People who worked for the company in the past are selected by other manufacturers, the strongest developers are working on Motorola, Nokia, other manufacturers. You can sell on the second round those old developments that remained with this company, but this means competition with future models from BenQ, which will build on the same platforms.
For users, the bankruptcy means that in the period of 6-7 months the BenQ-Siemens phones will leave the market, their share will constantly fall. In a number of markets, the company will try to fix its sales, especially for the Russian market, which is on the priority list. But the upturn has already reached the average, that in the fourth quarter it will undermine interest in the company's products, and will reduce its sales even more. German Siemens phones no longer exist at all. In the near future under the brand BenQ Siemens will begin to appear exclusively Asian devices, which are not too interesting, and the quality is traditionally low. Against the background of the lack of service in European countries, plus in the Russian market, there will also be problems with servicing such phones. In a word, the history of Siemens phones, with all its ups and downs, ended completely. More products of the German Siemens we will not see ever.
Some Siemens Mobile Manuals PDF above the page.