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Siemens turns to Fujitsu JV to save PC business

Siemens has a factory, Fujitsu shifts them boxes - let's do the show right here...

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Siemens' embarrassing attempts to exit the PC business (Siemens seeks partners for PC plant) seem to be back on track, with the prospect of a joint venture company with Fujitsu. The German giant, which found out it hadn't been doing as wonderfully as it had previously though last year, has already tried and failed to pursue this route with Acer. But Fujitsu looks more promising. Siemens' deal with Acer had been planned on the basis of Acer expansion in Europe. This would soak up overcapacity at Siemens PC plant, which would be transferred to Acer, and Acer would make Siemens-badged machines, allowing for a painless and dignified exit for the German giant. Unfortunately, Acer turned out to be not that unstricken either, and backed off when it found the numbers didn't add up. Fujitsu is currently an entirely different animal. It's been pushing hard on low-cost sales in Europe, and Fujitsu PCs pop up in supermarkets all over the place. German reports say the joint venture company plans to double capacity to 4 million over the next year (N.B., Siemens only shipped 1.4 million units last year, so you can see the problem), and that must be music to Siemens' ears. Fujitsu can certainly soak-up numbers of this kind, and maybe, as the company maintains, it can make money out of low-cost volume PCs. But we've heard that one before, haven't we? ®

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