mocoNews - BenQ Attempts Mobile Comeback With Android Smartphones

Tricia Duryee
Thursday, June 4, 2009; 11:00 PM

The mobile division of BenQ may have filed for bankruptcy in February 2007, but that isn't stopping the Taiwanese consumer electronics company from launching a new smartphone on Google's Android operating system next year.

A company representative confirmed to MacWorld today that it was working on both a netbook and a smartphone based on the operating system. BenQ currently sells netbooks under the name Joybook Lite running Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Windows XP, and apparently has continued to sell mobile phones with the Symbian operating system (you can see them the company's web site here).

But its mobile assets were liquidated back in 2007 after it could not find a buyer for its assets. BenQ launched the mobile division in 2005 after Siemens paid BenQ about $300 million to take over its struggling handset business. Going into the deal, BenQ was the No. 6 handset original equipment manufacturer in the world.

MacWorld reports that the company hopes to market an Android-based smartphone next year, "as it attempts to rebuild its name in mobile phones." BenQ might just be too late if it is hoping to build its marketshare early. Many other companies have pledged their support to Android, including HTC, Motorola (NYSE: MOT), Samsung, Sony (NYSE: SNE) Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC) and Acer. Google says it knows of up to 20 devices being worked on by up to nine manufacturers that will hit the market this year.


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