Light Reading

Cisco's Farewell to Consumers

Craig Matsumoto
Valley Wonk
Craig Matsumoto
1/25/2013
50%
50%

Cisco Systems Inc.'s love affair with the consumer market is finally over, with the sale of Linksys to Belkin Corp., announced Thursday. (See Cisco Unloads Linksys Unit.) Cisco does have set-top boxes left, but that's a service-provider product line. And the company has vehemently defended set-tops against rumors of a possible sale, so I wouldn't expect any changes there. (See Cisco: 'We Love Set-Top Boxes'.) Flip, umi, Linksys and the whole vision of Cisco becoming a driving force in the home network and the electronic spine of your future living-room -- that's all done now. "In our opinion, Cisco has finally concluded that selling to consumers is not the same as selling to enterprises," writes analyst Simon Leopold of Raymond James Financial Inc. in a note published Friday morning. That's certainly true. And yet, I was willing to believe in Cisco invading the living room. I didn't think they'd necessarily win -- what I mean is that I could buy into the logic that said Cisco needed to take a shot at it. That's partly because every big company seemed to be playing up its importance to the future home network. Chips, software, boxes -- they all saw a chance to take a dominant position in a huge future market. Meanwhile, Cisco was still considering itself a hot-growth company, and it needed a wide-open area for expansion. The living room was a market on the verge of transition -- and Cisco just loves to talk about how it nails industry transitions. But a lot of the things Cisco wanted to push into our lives -- high-definition video, or continual access to workplace collaboration (think Cius) -- got absorbed into a stronger force: smartphones and tablets. Flip became superfluous. So did Cius, which isn't a consumer device but fell prey to the same trend. Even before that, I struggled to understand the logic behind the Flip. And umi, the home telepresence system, was an overshot -- an overpriced product engineered for an unnecessarily high level of video quality. (I do believe we'll all learn to live with low-quality video for casual uses, just as we put up with the lousy audio on cellphones.) Like a lot of romantic notions, the home network lost its glow as the day-to-day reality crept in. Cisco being in consumer markets felt like more and more of a mistake. Linksys's arrival predated all that, of course, but without the other pieces, and without a grand home-invasion scheme behind it, Linksys feels irrelevant. Something like Meraki -- enterprise-minded, software-focused -- seems more appropriate. More like Cisco acting its age, I suppose. For more

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/28/2013 | 10:55:48 AM
re: Cisco's Farewell to Consumers
Right, it does appear that this alarm panel, like-áCisco's-áset-top boxes, will be distributed via-áservice provider rather than at retail... at least at this juncture. JB
myhui
50%
50%
myhui,
User Rank: Moderator
1/27/2013 | 5:30:22 PM
re: Cisco's Farewell to Consumers
Broadcom showed a UltraHD (4Kx2K resolution) TV set top box chip at 2013 CES.

http://www.broadcom.com/press/...

Cisco didn't compete in that segment, and it looks like they never will compete in that segment in the near future.
joanengebretson
50%
50%
joanengebretson,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/26/2013 | 11:27:28 PM
re: Cisco's Farewell to Consumers
Cisco did make one move into the consumer market recently. It's supplying the alarm panel for AT&T. But that's quite a competitive market so I doubt you'll see Cisco trying to sell that product beyond a few key customers like AT&T and maybe another telco or cable operator.
chuckj
50%
50%
chuckj,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/26/2013 | 6:48:00 AM
re: Cisco's Farewell to Consumers
I hope they go back to their old professional logo, this cartoon stuff is to consumerish.
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/25/2013 | 10:34:10 PM
re: Cisco's Farewell to Consumers
Found it interesting that Jesper Anderson, Cisco's-á-áSVP and GM of the service provider video technology group, found it necessary to tweet a link today (https://twitter.com/jespand/st... to the Feb.2012-áCisco blog post by John Earnhardt-áthat Cisco remains committed to set-top boxes... guess Jesper-á figured the Linksys sale might cause some to wonder (again) if set-tops would remain part of the Cisco plan, so he might as well get out in front to quash such speculation.-á-áBut the old STB deployment model is certainly going away...-áthe industry is shifting to home gateways that feed small client boxes and IP-capable devices like tablets and PCs, so-áI do see Cisco concentrating on that gateway market from here on out. JB
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Valley Wonk
Comcast joins Google in asking for a flexible-rate optical standard, rather than 400G or terabit, but that's easier said than done
Cisco, Juniper and other more traditional Interop speakers might get overshadowed by the forces of virtualization
The Open Networking Summit has climbed the hype curve, but the conference should cling to its roots as a techie discussion forum for software-defined networking
The coalition's chairman says all these companies plan to further the SDN cause and don't have a 'nefarious' angle
Big vendors are reportedly banding together to unify SDN's approach but is it more about steering the conversation?
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (5) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
Verizon Hums a Driving Tune
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/26/2015
Gogo Approved to Speed Up In-Flight WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/24/2015
Could Market Volatility Hurt Tech IPOs?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/24/2015
Fact-Checking the Future of 'Silence Like Diamonds'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/21/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about data center, cloud and the impact of virtualization in the coming years.
They say there's no such thing as a stupid question, but I probably sail pretty close to the wind in some of my interviews for LR. But then that's one of the things I ...
Cats with Phones
Cats & Boxes: A Love Affair Click Here