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?
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat Demo

7|2|15   |   10:53   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Nicolas Lemieux demonstrates how Red Hat is driving innovation through open source communities.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat's Approach to OpenStack Adoption

7|2|15   |   5:17   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Radhesh Balakrishnan outlines his company's open source strategy for both enterprises and telcos.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Goes Mobile With vEPC

7|2|15   |   1:12   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown discusses results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade that shows a clear commitment by mobile operators to move quickly to virtual EPC deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Business Sense of SDN

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Results of a Brocade-sponsored survey show that CSPs have a clear sense of SDN use cases but are wrestling with the business case. Sterling Perrin of Heavy Reading looks behind the numbers.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

7|2|15   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Forget the usual ten-year cycle for new technologies – NFV will be a core part of CSP networks in five years, based on results of a Brocade-sponsored survey, says Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Gains Traction With CSPs

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro of Heavy Reading analyzes results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade showing that CSPs are getting serious about making the transition to the New IP era.
LRTV Custom TV
It's (Real) Time for Analytics

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges looks at how CSPs say they plan to use analytics to deploy new services in real time as part of The New IP, based on results of a survey sponsored by Brocade.
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (7) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (1) comment


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
Colt to Jettison Ailing IT Business
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/30/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
What's a Gigabit Good For?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/1/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones