LONDON The end of the road for BenQ’s ambitions to become a branded handset manufacturer is also a major opportunity for some leading handset manufacturers, but a setback for some component suppliers.
According to Richard Windsor, senior analyst for global communications equipment at Nomura Securities, one of the biggest losers could be Qualcomm, as BenQ was a a significant Qualcomm shop for processors for the handsets. "It looked like [the relationship] would deliver at least 3 percent market share in WCDMA chips to Qualcomm,” said Windsor.
However, Infineon Technologies downplayed the possible impact, despite the fact that the German chip maker was a major supplier of baseband chips to the former Siemens Mobile and then also to BenQ Mobile.
According to Windsor, one main reason for the former Siemens handsets operation filing for bankruptcy Friday (Sept.29) is down to handset delays, testing and acceptance problems that conspired to prevent devices getting to market on time "which has proved catastrophic for revenues, profits and cash flow."
He added Nokia is likely to be the biggest beneficiary, getting the lion’s share of BenQ's business as BenQ has remained mostly in the low end where Nokia is by far the strongest.
Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi also said that Nokia and Sony Ericsson would be the main winners as BenQ Mobiles’ market share declines rapidly.
On the mobile software side, Windsor suggested the move would be negative for Symbian as yet another licensee goes up in smoke. It would also be a blow to the ambitions of the mobile Linux bandwagon "as BenQ's long-term feature phone roadmap looked like it was heading towards Linux and the consortium is now deprived of a credible member."