updated 10:40 am EDT, Thu July 3, 2008
BenQ May Drop Phones
BenQ may shift much of its handheld business from cellphones to Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), according to unofficial reports from within the company. The contacts claim that the launch of an Intel Atom-based MID in the summer (pictured) will signal the start a transition to where most every mobile device from BenQ will fulfill similar roles, which include basic web browsing and e-mail access as well as media playback and video conferencing. Cellphones will only be made as customers request them, according to the claims.
The electronics maker has often been just a smaller player in the cellphone industry. Although BenQ's cellphone sales have increased by about 40 percent from quarter-to-quarter, the company has sold no more than 50,000 phones and recently left the lucrative Chinese market. The small output gives BenQ little room to bargain as carriers look to cellphone manufacturers with large scale and thus cheaper phones.
BenQ hasn't provided most of the details of its first MID, though the device should have a 4.8-inch touchscreen, a Linux-based OS with touch gesture and tilt sensor support, a VGA webcam, and the possibility of 3G cellular Internet access along with Wi-Fi. Europeans are slated to receive the unnamed MID first in July.