In a bold move to reinvigorate growth in the mobile phone market, the Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group (Siemens mobile) has created a new collection of personal communication devices in radically different shapes and wearable designs with simple voice functionality. XELIBRI accessories will be sold over new channels, primarily via department stores and fashion retailers. They will be marketed as fashion items with two collections per year. The new fashion accessories will be sold initially in the U.K., China, including Hong Kong, in France, Germany, Italy, Singapore and Spain from April 2003, and in further markets from September 2003.
With mobile phone penetration rates in many markets at 70 to 85 percent, and overall growth stalled, the mobile phone industry needs to be reinvigorated. Creating a new category in the market and thereby building demand for multiple phone ownership is an innovative step to achieve this. And at a time where design is a top purchase criteria, the timing is just right to introduce radically new designs.
“XELIBRI products are fashion accessories that make phone calls. Today, most people buy the mobile phone that looks the best, and many have a habit of showing it off. This shows that mobile phones are potential fashion accessories like watches, handbags, and shoes. We envisage the scenario where people will own many fashion accessory phones and wear the one that matches their mood, the occasion, or their attire”, said George Appling, President of XELIBRI.
Rudi Lamprecht, Member of the Managing Board at Siemens AG, commented: “The launch of this new brand is a key element of Siemens mobile’s strategy that sees the market split into voice-centric fashionable phones and feature-rich phones. We will continue to offer leading edge technology in the form of feature-rich mobile phones, as well as in mobile applications, networks infrastructure, cordless products and wireless modules. The valuable asset of the Siemens mobile brand will be further enhanced by this bold step.”
Each XELIBRI collection will consist of four phones and just as fashion accessories there will be spring/summer and fall/winter collections. The phones will be available in limited quantities and will have a lifecycle of twelve months, which is significantly shorter than existing mobile phones.