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Siemens to stay single in mobile phone market

Siemens announced it is no longer seeking a merger candidate for its mobile phone division, but will enter into limited partnerships.

Late last year, Siemens announced that was looking to follow the example set by Ericsson and Sony, which merged their mobile phone operations in October. The company now sees such a move as a longer term option.

"That [a merger] is a strategy that could come up in some years," said Axel Heim, a spokesman for Siemens' Information and Communications Mobile (ICM) division.

Meanwhile, the company said it does plan to work with others on specific technologies. For example, Siemens has a partnership with NEC for 3G networks and with Casio Computer for handheld computers with phone functions. Other partnerships are in the works, Heim said.

Siemens also said it does not see a need for a big push on the US market, where it is a marginal player. The company introduced its first and only mobile phone on the US market in April last year together with Cingular Wireless.

"We are the third handset vendor in the world at the moment. We achieved that without [a presence on] the US market," Heim said. "We don't see the necessity for a big marketing investment in the US, but will promote together with the operators."

Sales in the US are "satisfactory" and new handsets are coming, Heim said. He added that the US, Latin America and Asia are growth markets for Siemens.

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