Siemens takes strategic step in high-end mobile phone market

Aug 02, 2004

First mobile with full BlackBerry functionality - New CEO of merged wireline and wireless group outlines trend toward convergence across all platforms

The mobile communication group at Siemens today revealed its intensified focus on the high-end mobile phone market. The launch of the new SK65, the first mobile phone with full BlackBerry functionality, will play a key role in this connection. It unites intuitive e-mail access, up until now enjoyed only on PCs, with classical mobile communication. Lothar Pauly, CEO of the new Communications Group, which will begin operating on October 1, explained how the new wireline/wireless communication unit is poised to benefit substantially from this new trend of convergence between what have up until now been separate network and access technologies.

“The steadily growing demand for unified communication solutions will dramatically boost the need for phones that unite a broad range of office functionalities with convenient access to e-mail,” said Lothar Pauly at a press conference in London. “We anticipate strong growth in this segment, which we expect to account for 20 percent of the wireless market by the year 2006. Our new SK65, which provides the user with a range of features thus far enjoyed only on a PC, will allow us to seize this market opportunity.”

Together with the SK65, Siemens will bring a total of four premium mobile phone models to market in the second half of this year, each in different versions, enabling it to expand its position in the high-end class, and will continue to round out its broad portfolio in the entry-level and midrange segments. Two feature-rich high-end phones, the S65 compact business handset, with its sleek design and chrome finish, and the SL65, the follow-on model to the revolutionary SL55 sliderphone, a design classic, have already debuted. Siemens will present a further phone for the high-end segment in September.

“The introduction of our first BlackBerry mobile is more than just an addition to our portfolio. It is, in fact, a leap into a new league of truly intelligent devices that unite the convenience of sophisticated e-mail access with classical wireless communication,” said Lothar Pauly. “Siemens Communications is perfectly positioned to benefit from this trend toward convergence, which makes communication simpler and more convenient for users. That’s why we’re going to be consolidating our fixed-network solutions and our wireless competence to the benefit of both carriers and enterprises. Siemens Communications will increasingly be working on unified solutions that enable all forms of communication, such as PCs, PDAs, mobile phones and wireless modules, to interact seamlessly as if they were all part of a common network of networks.”

From October 1, Siemens will be the only telecommunication equipment supplier that is able to offer its customers products that support the convergence of wireline and wireless networks and cover all segments, from devices right through to infrastructure. In addition, the group will also continue to offer products and solutions for separate, dedicated fixed and mobile networks.

The tri-band SK 65 from Siemens is the first mobile phone to offer sophisticated e-mail management in combination with either MS Outlook or Lotus Notes through the full integration of BlackBerry functionality, allowing users full control over their inbox even while on the move. The SK65 is creating a new form factor category with an ingenious keyboard stored underneath a classical, candy bar design that can be twisted out into a cross-like form so that the user can type on each side of the display. The SK65 will be available at retailers in November in a variety of versions to suit the needs of users in corporate, small and medium enterprise and small/home office environments.

The original press release can be found here.

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