Siemens to find mobile phone partner

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Siemens to find mobile phone partner

Siemens has entered into discussions with other mobile phone manufacturers in hopes of merging their handset-production operations.

In giving up its independent mobile phone manufacturing business, Siemens is following a similar strategy to Ericsson, which announced earlier this year that it would combine its handset operations with Sony's.

The company believes that, in the long term, only Nokia would survive as an independent handset manufacturer, said Siemens spokesman Alex Heim. Heim would not name any of the companies Siemens is considering.

Siemens slipped from fourth to fifth place in the global mobile phone market during the third quarter, according to figures from Dataquest. The German company sold 6.8m units during the quarter, taking 7.2% of the world market. In the same quarter of 2000, Siemens sold 9m handsets, an 8.7% market share. Nokia, by contrast, shipped 31.6m units in the last quarter, which makes up 33.4% of the world market.

Siemens recently announced the loss of some 22m euros (£13.6m) before interest and taxes on its mobile phone business during the third quarter. However, Heim said that the losses were largely due to a one-off write-off, without which mobile phone manufacturing would have earned some 50m euros (£31m).

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