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Vodafone turns to Sagem for handsets

Sagem brand moves further into the shadows

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Vodafone has announced that Sagem will be providing it with own-brand phones, to be sold as Vodafone branded handsets.

This, along with its recent announcement that it would be making low-end handsets for Sony Ericsson, marks a return to the background for the Sagem brand, which has been losing money and was expecting to be dumped by its owner Safran as recently as last October.

Many pure-manufacturing companies tried to raise the profile of their brand to consumers and thus sell direct, but this coincided with network operators trying to increase their brand profile, while traditional phone manufacturers fought to keep their logo prominent on the handsets.

Jens Schulte-Bockum, global director of terminals at Vodafone, said:

"[Vodafone's] 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."

Sagem's handset, scheduled to be launched in June this year, features a slim case and 65K colours. The handset must have already been designed and ready for manufacture, just waiting for someone to want to put their logo on the front. ®

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