Sagem signs ODM deals with Sony Ericsson, Vodafone

Sony Ericsson and Sagem are to collaborate on entry-level mobile phones featuring GSM, GPRS and EDGE. As part of the licensing agreement Sagem Communication will license related to mobile phone platforms to Sony Ericsson.

Sony Ericsson gets a collection of specific hardware and software technologies from Sagem as part of the licensing agreement – “we chose Sagem Communication because their software platforms are mature, scaleable and flexible,” said Howard Lewis, VP and head of Sony Ericsson’s entry level phone unit. “In addition we were impressed with the quality and performance of their phones, which have been developed by a skilled workforce. Our cooperation with Sagem Communication will allow us to offer a mature range of phones right from the start.”

The entry level has never been a big concern for Sony Ericsson, but the emerging markets that will provide the next boom in handset sales will require a very basic product line. The Sagem deals means SE will be able to fill out its entry level offering and strengthen its position in this area.

The two partners will conduct joint development activities and Sony Ericsson will establish an R&D team near Sagem’s French HQ in Cergy.

The other deal is with Vodafone; Sagem is to supply Vodafone-only branded handsets, with the first fruits to be released in June. It’s described as “extra-slim” and “embedding all the main GSM features plus an eye-catching 65K-colour screen”.

Jens Schulte-Bockum, Global Director of Terminals at Vodafone, noted that “Vodafone’s Original Design Manufacturers’ strategy is intended to use Vodafone’s size and purchasing power to engage with the best white-label handset makers and then use the power of the Vodafone brand to bring their products to market”.

Both agreements are obviously part of a planned move away from Sagem’s existing business model.

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