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Siemens on Cebit 2004. May be it will recover?!
Siemens prepared several products to exhibit. The information about them was "ocassinally" leeked to the Internet. Originally it was a great interest to these products. Fans of the company have been waiting for really interesting products for a long time. Their hopes were not vain, the company showed C65. In my opinion iit’s too early to tell great words about S65.
Siemens sets the following priorities this year. Firstly, to ship phones for Vodafone, secondly to conquer Brazil market. It means that the companzy wouldn't be able to ship much products to the markets that are not so important for it. By differnt reasons Russian market is included in this category. Today the company occupies the forth place on the Russian market and the gap between Siemens and market leaders is rather large. Even the great volume of the "grey" market couldn't correct the situation. The gap is large and it will continue to grow. New products will apper in the third quarter on the market but they won't become mass products.
Let's remember what representatives of the company say about new products on the market. All of them stated that new products would be on the market in June or July. Today these statments look rather controversial. In reality the company will be able to ship phones only for Vodafone. The new models will apper on the mass market only in autumn. Middle class models will be launched first. S65 will be available at the same time with rival products. It means that the phone wouldn't be first on the market.
Now let's shortly overview the products from Siemens. Appearing of C65 is a strong move of Siemens. This model has typical design of the company, rather good features (similar to the best products of other manifacturers if to speak about all features). Even now we can say that C65 will be a bestseller, it is not very important when it will be on the market. If to keep right price policy the phone will be demanded during the year or year and a half. Live cycle of the C65 is similar to C55 (i.e about two years). It is rather long for a mass product.
As we've already said the phone’s design is traditional to Siemens. The model has STN 65 K screen of unusual resolution - 130x130 pixels. On the whole it leaves good impressions for the phone of this class. Of course, the colors are not so bright as the colors of STN screen in the phones from Samsung. But the picture looks smooth and it's really an achievment. It will the best screen in the phones of this class. Such phones as Motorola C380, Motorola C650 and Nokia 3200 have worse screens.
CIF-camera is integrated in C65. The same camera was integrated in the MC60. Due to better screen, the pictures are not merged and displayed correctly. Flash is produced as an accessory for camera, it is connected through the system connector. The manufacturer indicates that the flash has red-eye reduction. Taking into account the current resolution it is rather marketing trick than a real necessety. It is very difficult to discern pupils of the eyes on such picture.
You can edit the pictures in the integrated graphical editor. It is suitable for simple operations. Such capabilities bacame standard for the phones of the middle class with cameras, because the function is focused to the youth market.
В целом на примере С65 мы наблюдаем, как возрастает функциональность аппаратов среднего класса, теперь ИК-порт отнюдь не удел бизнес телефонов, он пришел и в этот сегмент. Первой компанией массово пошедшей на данный шаг был Alcatel (Alcatel OT 535). Помимо ИК-порта, С65 поддерживает соединение с ПК по кабелю (USB).
C65 is a good example which shows how the functionality of the middle class phones grows ahead. Now IrDa is not only a function of a business phones but of youth phones as well. Firstly it was appered in Alcatel OT535, now in C65. Apart from IrDa C65 supports USB connection.
Among new functions there is wap-browser, version 2.0, a possibility to send group MMS-messages (to pre-default user group). The phone has up to 3Mb storage, up to 2Mb are available to the user. Besides the phone is triple-band.
The handset has interchangeable ClipIt covers to personalise phone's appereance. It is a typical feature for C-series from Siemens. The only exception is C62, which is an ODM model.
The phone is equipped with lithium-ion battery of 600 Mah capacity. According to the manufacturer it could work up to 6 hours in the talk mode and up to 410 hours in the standby mode. According to the representatives of the company it will work about 3-4 days in reality that is typical for the phones of this class. The phone's dimensions are 107x48x18 mm, the weight is 86 grams.
In general the phone leaves good impressions like C55 when it was launched. Taking into account that Siemens still is very popular today, the phone will be definetly demanded on the market. The menu interface and icons were changed in the new 65 series. I can't say that they are ideal but correspond to the company's style.
Siemens M65 is rather controversial. It is a new phone of Outdoors series. As its predeseccor - ME45 it is water, dust and shock resistant. The market of such devices is rather small, it's a niche product. Siemens was very sucessful with M35, partly with ME45. The latter one belonged to a higher class, it was close to the business phone. The first model was focused on wide group of users, the second one attracted the users by its quality. ME45 sucesfully combined design, functionality and fashion. We can compare its users group with Casio G-Shock’s customers which are very popular among middle class users and youth.
The new M65 is focused to the other market segment. The company tried to make a phone for those who are fond of extreme sports, active living, mainly for young people. Siemens repeats the way of Nokia which is developing this direction in such phones as Nokia 5100, 5140. Following the other manufacturer the company lost its chance to sell phones for the mass market. M65 will remain the niche product. The main competition will be between Nokia 5140 and Siemens M65. Both phones are rather interesting for their segments.
The phone has a metal case consited of metal covers, which you couldn't take off. The phone will not work without them. It has a rubber case, all connectors are covered with ruber covers.
M65 will be the first model which will be available on the market among Siemens phones. At the same time CX65 will be launched. M65 will cost about 350-380 Euro that is not very reasonable. There are many rumors around prices of the new models. Originally it was announced in Madrid that CX65 will cost about 380 Euro. Now they say that the products will cost less but it is not known how much. It is stated that price of M65 will be the same as the price of CX65, the difference will be 15-20 Euro. In my opinion the price of these products shouldn't exceed 250 and 270 Euro respectively in the beginning of sales. In the middle of autumn the price should be lower by 50-60 Euro.
The most controversial model is Siemens S65. All specifications are very interesting on paper and it is the most advanced phone among those which were presented. But in my opinion Siemens made a mistake with design and phone's dimensions. Almost all journalists tried to know why design of the model is so similar to Sony Ericsson T610. Rudi Lamprecht joked but didn't say anything. These two phones are really similar but S65 is larger than T610 and the design is not so attractive. In my opinion S65 reminds ST55/ST60: the same icons, the same font while dialing, the same problems with phonebook and dimensions. It's a pity that Siemens made such top product. Siemens fans will find out that the phone differs from the usual handset from this company. It is easily understandable if you compare it with C65. It's a nonesess but the ODM model is a top model of the line. Presence of 1 megapixel camera doesn't solve the problem, the company destroys the loyality of users. Many users will purchase S65 instead of S55 but see the difference of these products. It means that the price will be the main decisive factor for the user. The price of S65 will be competitive but not for a long time.
RC-MMC slot is near the system connector on the bottom of the phone. The representatives of the company said that hot swap of MMC-cards is available. Samples which were exhibided had lower functionality. An attempt to insert own card was failed, the phone hanged on and we had to remove the battery. The same problem was in several shooting modes. When the phone is launched, many problems will dissaper. It's usual practice to demonstrate not working samples on the exhibition.
S65 has TFT 65 K screen with the resolution of 132x176 pixels. It is the best screen among all Siemens models (the quality is the same as in Siemens ST55/ST60). But the quality of pictures and icons is not variable, interface is very scarce, not much attention was turned to it.
The keys of S65 have the same problems as ST55, they are small and closely spaced to each other. It is uncomfortable to press them. On the other hand it has good package (32 mb of memory), many capabilities (IrDa, bluetooth, 40-tones polyphony). By the way it is another proof of Asia development.
In the near future there will be much fuss about Siemens S65, we recommend you to wait for real samples and make own opinion about it. Specifications on paper look nice but unfortunately it is not enough to make a whole impression. We are sure that Siemens hasn't had so controversial model before.
It is difficult to forecast how this handset will be sold. We think that due to the high brand awareness of the company and phone's position in the line it will have rather good sales. But we are not sure whether it will have good influence for the image of Siemens.
Several Limited Edition series were presented on the booth of the company too: Siemens SX1 McLaren Edition, several colors for Siemens SL55. If you look on the Escada Limited Edition, you can note Russian letters on the keyboard. It means that the phone was originally developed for the Russian market.
Accessories from Siemens
Some of you will be really happy when see a new bluetooth headset from Seimens. The main peculiarity of this device is small dimensions. Users of the previous model know what is the weight of the headset. The form of the hook became standard for different manufactures. Sony Ericsson was the first company who made it smooth and now it is integrated in many other models.
Siemens also showed Car Kit Bluetooth HKW-600. The strong point of this device is small one-line screen which could display incoming phone numbers. You can also scroll list of calls on your phone and see them on this display. An access to the phone book is available.
We have already written that the company will possibly close this direction. But these products were presented on the exhibition. They didn't arise much interest. But I was really impressed by the advertisment, which was made by the company. It is the best definition of these products. Look on it; flabby body is closed by beautiful appearance. The same is in these phones. Unusual design reveals scarce functionality and absence of ergonomics.
As usual young people advertised these models.
New DECT-solutions from Siemens
Siemens is one of the leaders on the DECT-market but its share reduces due to Panasonic influence. It was in Russia, may be it will be in Europe too. New models from Siemens have a color display, some of them have integrated cameras and support MMS. The representatives of the company couldn't explain why these functions in the home phone are so necessary.
Most visitors were very interested in these models. But we don't think that it is worth to pay for color screen at home.
The phone equipped with a round keypad is rather nice. We have already seen something similar.
That is all about the most interesting products from Siemens.
Published 22 March 2004
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