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Summary:

Cisco’s love affair with the home networking market appears to over. In March it will sell Linksys to Belkin and the two companies will partner to attack the home networking space together.

linksys

It’s been a big week for deal-making over at Cisco Systems. One day after announcing the blockbuster purchase of tiny Israeli mobile networking startup Intucell for $475 million, Cisco is turning around and selling one of its biggest former acquisitions, Linksys, to home-networking competitor Belkin. No financial details were revealed.

Privately held Belkin said that after the acquisition, which it expects to close in March, it will have 30 percent of the U.S. retail home and small business networking market. Furthermore, Belkin said it would continue to support all Cisco-made Linksys products and maintain the Linksys brand, just as Cisco chose to do last decade. Belkin hopes to integrate the Linksys line with its home networking portfolio.

“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,” Belkin CEO Chet Pipkin said in a statement. “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.”

Furthermore, when the companies are no longer competing head to head, they’ll be free to partner. Belkin and Cisco said they would form strategic partnerships in “retail distribution, strategic marketing and products for the service provider market.” They didn’t give many details, but it sounds like Cisco and Belkin might tackle the emerging connected home space together, with Cisco handling the backend platform software and Belkin the consumer-facing gadgetry.

As for Cisco, it’s certainly not abandoning the Wi-Fi market, it’s just going back to its roots, focusing on enterprise and service providers. In fact, when it comes to enterprise Wi-Fi, Cisco is doubling up on its investment. It bought Meraki Networks in November for $1.2 billion.

  1. A good move for Cisco, IMHO. Not a good day for D-link.

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    1. That’s not necessarily a bad day for consumers. D-Link has had a lot of chances to provide good products and support, and they’ve largely failed to hold things together for more than a product iteration or two.

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  2. Cisco wants to hide from the consumer market like IBM, Dell, and HP, hiding there will only protect them for another five to ten years.

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  3. “appears to over”?

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  4. i think a lot of people are waiting for the retina models to get cheaper. they are happy with their current machines but would not mind an up upgrade to a retina model if the price drops but see no reason to buy a newer MBP without retina display.

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  5. It’s about time. Cisco did NOTHING with Linksys and the quality of the products just went down hill. They didn’t seem to realize that while milking the cow, you still had to feed it. Hopefully Belkin already realizes this and is willing to feed and nurture the cash cow while milking it. Good luck to Belkin and good ridance to Cisco. Buh Bye!!

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  6. While Belkin makes fine cables I’ve never been overly impressed with their Networking Products. Hopefully with taking over the Linksys line things will change for the better for both Linksys and Belkin.

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