|Siemens Aust exits mobiles|
Siemens to exit the Australian mobile phone market
MAY 17, 2005
GERMAN electronics maker Siemens has confirmed plans to exit the Australian mobile phone market.
The move comes as the company's German parent continues its attempts to sell off its mobile and cordless phone operations completely.
"Siemens has been openly reporting the challenges facing its communications mobile devices business for some months," public affairs manager Brad Voss said.
The company had "exhausted every avenue" to find a sustainable business model for the Australian mobile operation, Mr Voss said.
"As part of the ongoing review of business performance, Siemens Australia-New Zealand has confirmed that it will cease marketing and sales activities of its mobile devices business, in its current form, from 30 September 2005."
Returns from the mobile devices market were proving too small to warrant continuing the presence, Mr Voss said. "All existing customer arrangements, including service and support will continue," he said.
Between five and 15 employees would be affected by the change, but the company would attempt to redeploy them to other areas of the business, Mr Voss said.
Since commencing operations in 1997, the company had sold more than 1 million mobile devices in Australia and New Zealand, he said.
The company has for some time been attempting to find a buyer for its loss-making mobiles division. Despite being mooted as potential buyers, Motorola and Samsung have both denied any interest in Siemens, as have several smaller Korean manufacturers.
In its last quarter, the mobile division lost €138 million ($229 million), prompting the company to announce that it would take steps to partition the division, along with its cordless home phone unit, into a separate business ready to be sold.
A source at one mobile carrier said that a move by Siemens to exit Australia would not be surprising, with the company having struggled to compete with the lower priced, similarly featured products from its rivals. "They have been finding it hard to be keen on pricing," the source said.
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