Fri, Mar 30, 2007 - Page 12 News List

BenQ Corp expects gain in local market share next quarter


Local mobile phone maker BenQ Corp (明基) expected to gain market share next quarter on the domestic market, despite a setback overseas as a result of an unprofitable takeover of Siemens AG's handset unit, a company executive said yesterday.

It was not clear whether the company would increase market share in the third quarter, as it planned to stop using the BenQ-Siemens brand, said Hank Horng (洪漢青), president of BenQ's local branch.

Handset shipments shrank to 600,000 units in the fourth quarter of last year from 7 million units in the third quarter as the company decided to stop investing in its bankrupt European unit last September, BenQ said.

Back in Taiwan, however, "we are growing against the industry's recent downtrend," Horng told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference presenting a remake of a cellphone.

He said that the failure to absorb Siemens' handset unit, along with the recent insider-trading investigation, had weakened consumer confidence in BenQ, but the company was seeing a quick recovery.

Horng said BenQ aimed to boost its local market share to 5 percent next quarter, compared with almost 3 percent in the first three months.

BenQ now ranks No. 5 in the nation's cellphone market, trailing behind foreign brands Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and Samsung.

But Horng said the company's outlook was unclear, as BenQ would market its products solely under its BenQ brand in the future. Moreover, the future popularity of third-generation cellphones was also unclear, he said.

Separately, Horng dismissed a report by the Chinese-language Commercial Times that up to 30 percent of the research and development and marketing divisions had quit their jobs amid the financial and judicial problems.

"It's not true," Horng said.

"It's quite normal [for local companies] to have more people leave their jobs after the Lunar New Year holidays. We are recruiting new blood to fill the vacancies," he said.

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