'And the winner is': Siemens phone partner unveiled

Joint venture made in Taiwan?

Joint venture made in Taiwan?

After months of speculation, the partner lined up to help Siemens' ailing handset business appears to have been decided: Taiwanese tech firm BenQ.

According to a report in the Financial Times, Siemens could be set to announce the partnership as early as tomorrow, following a meeting scheduled today for Siemens' supervisory board to approve the joint venture.

Siemens announced its decision to spin off the mobile unit in April, hoping the separation would bring in a new partner for the business, after a series of loss-making quarters by the phone business saw its communications division's results tumble. Most recently, Siemens' communications business notched up a deficit of €138m.

It is hoped the partnership will be able to turn around the fortunes of Siemens' handset business, while enabling likely stablemate BenQ to make a bigger impact in the European market.

Siemens is expected to keep a minority share in the new venture, which will also include Siemens' cordless phone business.

Analysts have long predicted that a partner for the German firm would come from Asia, as the ability to trade under the Siemens brand name would prove attractive to a vendor looking to bolster sales in Europe.

However, the drive to rejuvenate Siemens mobile business may be something of an uphill struggle. The unit has seen the number of handsets sold plummet by six million over the course of the last year, during which time Siemens' share of the handset market dropped to 5.5 per cent, according to analyst house Gartner.

Siemens declined to comment.