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Siemens' models in the fourth quarter of 2005
Not so long ago the company of Siemens gave its department of mobile terminals to BenQ, and both approach to marketing and forming a product line has changed since then. The company thought widening its product line it would reach the parity with the leading three makers in the number of terminals, and correspondingly increase its market share soon. And the maximum effort was taken in the fourth quarter, so about 12 new products will appear on the market. Some of them differ from the phones present on the market for about a year only in one or two functions. And anyway, such widening of the model line is not typical of the company, which held a deliberation policy in introducing new devices. The phones appear very fast, and thus the company has to explain the differences between them not only to an end-user, but to distributors' staff. And indeed, the similarity of the models and their minimal differences lead to hypertrophied explanations, where one model serves as a necessary derivative of the other. Here is a plain example. Siemens AX72 is a copy of the AX75 lacking IrDA. This explanation is right and doesn't sin against the truth. At the same time, explaining the functionality of the elder models only brings harmful currents into the minds of unprepared readers. For instance, the SFG75 is called a copy of the SF65 supporting UMTS and equipped with 2 cameras. But in fact, this device differs from the SF65 greatly, since it is created by BenQ and uses completely different hardware and software parts. Such comparisons are incorrect and only spoil minds (though, the presupposition of their appearance is rather good).
Let's have a look at the 12 phones prepared for launch in the fourth quarter and try to form a complete picture of what the company can offer to us. The logic prompts to start with low-end solutions.
Let us introduce the CF110, the first low-end slider by Siemens. The expected price for the launch moment is 140-150 USD. It's not hard to guess, the model copies the AX75 in hardware component, also no differences in functionality are present, except for the better polyphony (32-tones against 16-tones in the AX75), and another screen (TFT, 65K, 130x130 pixels). However, the slider lacks IrDA, and this fact make up the improvements. The model turned out not as bad for a very cheap slider, since this segment is not rich in products by other makers. At the time Samsung skims the cream in the middle-price and high-end segments, the company of Siemens tries to conquer the low-end segment. It's hard to suppose how popular the sliders will be here, but the appearance of a cheap device will reduce the fashion component of the form-factor.
Siemens CC75 is referred to the AX75 in positioning, indeed, they are somehow alike, but both technically and in capabilities the devices are greatly different. The one belongs to the top part of the low-end segment, and another one is on the bottom of the middle level. Intersections are possible, but they won't be so obvious, since the price for the CC75 will be 5-10 USD higher (110 - 115 USD higher than the AX75). It is curious in difference to the AX75 the CC75 uses FreeScale CPU (developed by a Motorola's department under the same name). And earlier low-end models were equipped with an E-Gold Lite chipset.
In addition to the CPU, the СС75 stands out for the interface, which is untypical for Siemens. The company materials call this interface exclusive. The peculiarity of this device is its wap-browser version 2.0 is hidden from users. You can't use it for downloading new melodies and pictures, and receiving them is possible only via MMS. And correspondingly Java is absent, it is not foreseen.
The model is an attempt of creating a phone the maximum attractive in design, a phone only for calls. We think the perspective for this device is doubtful at the presence of such powerful rivals like low-end Motorola's products.
The reincarnation of Siemens C65 got the name of the C72; it is different in higher resolution of the integrated camera, now it is VGA. You will find no other differences. And even the price for the launch moment will form the same 110-115 USD, which is the cost of Siemens C65.
A new abbreviation appears in the budgetary segment, it is AP. And the first model Siemens AP75 is just renamed BenQ M315. The presence of Bluetooth, which can be used to connect to a headset, is a peculiarity of the phone. The specification doesn't look eminent; here is a STN-display with the resolution of 128x128 pixels, capable of 65K colours, 16-tones polyphony (SMAF, MIDI), CIF-camera, and 500 KB of internal memory. Motorola C390 is a direct rival for Siemens AP75; however, this model has a Bluetooth headset included into the package. The price of both models will be comparable in the 4Q. And in November it will form about 120-130 USD.
A middle segment representative Siemens ME75 will appear on the market in a protected variant. From the C75 it differs in no way except for the body. The phone dimensions form 105x46x18 m and the weight is 95 g (as for the С75, the dimensions are 103x44x17 mm, the weight is 90 g). And the price will exceed the C75 for 15-20 USD.
Of the models announced earlier, the leader of the line, Siemens S75, will appear on the counters. It differs from other phones of the 75th series in a new chip S-Gold 2. At the same time, a user will hardly find many differences from the СХ75. They include a capability to view MS Word, Excel, PDF files, the presence of Mobile ZIP, and PictBridge. The MP3 player integrated can work in background, as well as Java applications. Multitasking is a raisin of this device. And in some countries the EDGE support can be very interesting to customers. In October the phone will cost about 450 USD.
Siemens SL75 is built on the same platform as Siemens S75, however, it lacks memory cards (52 MB of internal memory), EDGE is supported and the camera has a flash function.
And again, the SFG75 is a renamed BenQ S80; the twist of fate is the first UMTS phone of the renewed company is not by Siemens. Before this all the U-series solutions were actually turned Motorola's products. And the model which is to become the top one, is not actually so. In fact, at the price of 300-330 USD (which is the most optimal prognosis) this device won't be interesting, specification doesn't amaze, its external antenna spoils the appearance much (this is a rudiment for today). To understand what this model represents, you can just have a glance at BenQ S700. The models are extremely close; you will understand what I mean. Siemens worshipers have rather a negative impression of this model; even the menu is not adapted for their taste.
The SG75 is planned for the end of the year; this is an UMTS slider interesting for its redesigned interface and Linux operating system (no open system!). In capabilities this model resembles the CX75, however, is equipped with a considerably better screen capable of 262K colours with the resolution of 176x220 pixels. Due to the memory card slot this device is more interesting than Siemens SL75. With the price of 450 USD it won't be mass, however can draw attention. For me and the majority of users this model remains a dark horse, which can be winning or a dead-end. Time will show, but now I'd like to stress it differs from the 75th series much both in menu and some functions.
It would seem the SXG75 possesses with all possible technologies, including RDS-radio, fully functional MP3 player, UMTS and a GPS receiver. Its large QVGA screen makes this phone a champion among Siemens' products. Well, on paper it all looks perfect, but as we know the launch time will be put off. And in 2005 we won't see it on the market. Least probable it won't appear on the counters at all. If it were launched in December, it would be a great New Year present for many people, but that's a pity it is impossible.
And the last model, it is smartphone BenQ P50. All the details will be available in a special review.
One doesn't have to be the smartest man in the world to understand the integration process is not good for the beginning stage. The model line is diluted with BenQ's phones, which completely misfit Siemens' ideology, and are accepted coolly by the company's worshipers. Similar names given to new models make orientation extremely hard. A subtle setting of the model line (for instance, the AX75) is right in condition of a calm market. And it will negatively influence the company at any problem; its warehouse stock will grow. It seems this attempt of widening the model line instantly is an attempt to demonstrate rapid work. And the first who need it are BenQ's investors, all the external tinsel is for them. Real products developed by a single company will appear in autumn 2006. Till then the sales of Siemens's devices will not be very successful, and the company's concentration at some markets including the Russian, where the trademark is accepted well, shows it. A potential bestseller by the old Siemens can appear in May 2006, and till then we'll have to be satisfied with the products described above.
Published - 12 October 2005
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