Sat, Jul 07, 2007 - Page 12 News List

E-Ten and Arima jointly developing smartphones

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

E-Ten Information Systems Co (倚天資訊), a maker of handheld devices, yesterday said it has formed a partnership with Arima Communications Corp (華冠通訊) to develop third-generation (3G) and 3.5G smartphones.

The two companies will share technology platforms to churn out a series of high-end smartphones, which will feature 3.5G, WiFi, global positioning system (GPS) as well as Bluetooth functionalities, E-Ten said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

"Through the cooperation, both companies will be well positioned to go for more business opportunities in the smartphone market," Arima president Owen Chen (陳世惠) said in the statement.

The first jointly developed handset -- a 3.5G model running on Windows Mobile 6 and supporting GPS and wireless modules -- will be launched in the third quarter, the firms said.

Starting off with the first Chinese-language input system for DOS-based computers, E-Ten has moved into the smart handheld device market by introducing nearly 10 models of smartphones since 2005.

It launched its Glofiish brand in the fourth quarter of last year, paving the way for its aggressive push into the own-brand market. Taiwan's No. 2 handset maker Arima, meanwhile, has produced over 40 million units of cellular phones over the past three years for brand-name clients including Sony Ericsson, LG Electronics and O2.

E-Ten yesterday said it posted sales of NT$247.9 million (US$7.6 million) last month, up 27 percent from the same period last year. Sales in the first six months grew 67 percent to NT$1.8 billion.

Arima, meanwhile, reported sales of NT$1 billion last month, down 51 percent from a year ago, owing to slower shipments. Revenues for the first six months also plunged 61 percent to NT$6.2 billion from the same period last year.

Shares of E-Ten closed up 5.2 percent to NT$60.5 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday, while Arima's closed up 4.4 percent to NT$42.5.

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