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How would you compare and contrast the case of BenQ/Siemens Mobile and Lenovo/IBM PC businesses?

The Lenovo deal seems to fly in the face of your (what I believe is a correct) hypothesis of business focus as much as the BenQ deal.


A cock is valiant on his own dunghill. Bellingham.

Malte Poppensieker

John, with great interest I have read your opinions about businesses unbundling themselves into three major business types. I think that what you are decsribing is exactly what we have been seeing over the last few years; many very successful companies have emerged that are closely specializing on one of those areas. I also agree with you that this trend will probably even accelerate in the future.
However, I am not sure if the BenQ-Siemens deal is actually a very good example. Fact is that Siemens Mobile was already loosing 140M Euro each quarter before BenQ's takeover. Although the Taiwanese management was unable to improve that situation, it did not make it much worse either. Siemens Mobile already died as part of Siemens Corporation, BenQ was just unable to reanimate the patient.
Of course you can argue that this is because BenQ had almost no experience in Product Innovation or Customer Relationship Building, but I doubt that a company that did would have been more successful with Siemens Mobile. After all Siemens had major trouble finding a buyer for its cell phone operation and even paid to get rid of it. Maybe it was BenQ's "Wester Envy" and their strong wish to own a brand name that made them ignore the huge problems Siemens Mobile had.
But, on the other hand, Siemens IS a company that has traditionally been a product innovator and owns a strong brand name. Still, it was not successful with Siemens Mobile. Following your theory, Siemens Mobile would have been a good fit for Siemens because it was well aligned with the overall business activity of the coporation. Still it went down. Sometimes it is just bad management that ruins a business and not a matter of focussing on one of the three business types.

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