& cplSiteName &

Cisco's Farewell to Consumers

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
More Blogs from Craig's A-List
Already replaced as CEO, John Chambers is fully detaching as he plans to step down as Cisco chairman, truly ending his time as the face and voice of the company.
The network must be automated. And Light Reading must write about it.
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
Featured Video
From The Founder
The 'gleaming city on a hill,' Steve Saunders calls it. But who is going to take us from today's NFV componentry to the grand future of a self-driving network? Here's a look at the vendors hoping to make it happen.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Could 5G Have Found Its Glass Ceiling?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/20/2017
1 Million Pirate Set-Top Boxes Sold in the UK
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 9/20/2017
Comcast Shuts Down OTT Again
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/19/2017
Photo Highlights: Operations Transformation Forum 2017
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 9/17/2017
WiCipedia: Endangered Species, 'the Pao Effect' & Bad Actors
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/22/2017
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed