Light Reading
Linksys was the last soldier standing in Cisco's fight to catch a consumer electronics transition

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
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?
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed