Over the past two years, Cisco has been dumping many of its brands, many of which are consumer-facing, but all of them have been out of Cisco's strengths. Almost two years ago, the company cut loose its Flip Video camera business. A year later they closed up shop on the Cius tablet brand as well, not long after the announcement that a larger version would be launched. That larger tablet never made it into the world.
All of these closings indicated that Cisco had regained its identity as the leader in large scale networking. It was only a matter of time before they realized that their small scale networking business, best known to the public as Linksys, was outside of its core identity. That realization happened this week, as the announcement was made that Belkin, best known for low cost computer accessories, has agreed to purchase the business. With this acquisition, Belkin will account for 30 percent of the US home and small business networking industry.
How will the transition work and what does this mean for the Linksys brand? Hit the break to find out.
Belkin plans to maintain the Linksys brand as-is. That isn't surprising considering the less-than-stellar brand image that Belkin has, especially in the home networking space. While a decent selling brand, it certainly isn't the top quality you will find with the Linksys or Netgear brands. Transitioning to the Linksys brand name will help Belkin gain some branding ground; it wouldn't be surprising to see more Belkin products show up under the Linksys brand in time.
The CEO of Belkin, Chet Pipkin, is pretty excited about the purchase.
We're very excited about this announcement. Our two organizations share many core beliefs - we have similar beginnings and share a passion for meeting the real needs of our customers through the strengths of an entrepreneurial culture. Belkin's ultimate goal is to be the global leader in the connected home and wireless networking space and this acquisition is an important step to realizing that vision.
Linksys pioneered wireless connectivity capability around the globe, and has a strong brand renowned for its premium market position, the strength of its installed base and its proven dependability. Linksys users benefit from peace of mind in their home networking environment. At Belkin we have developed great insight into consumer needs, and the experiences, solutions and products we bring to the market, including our WeMo home automation platform, will help us to grow Linksys' market presence.
It is pretty clear the company has some clear goals for Linksys in the future. Only time will tell whether Linksys enhances the Belkin corporation or if Belkin brings down the mighty networking brand.