Feature Article

January 29, 2013

Belkin to Acquire Cisco's Home Networking Business Unit Linksys

Last week, Playa Vista, Calif.-based Belkin entered into an agreement to acquire Cisco’s home networking business unit, including the Linksys brand. Linksys’ main office is located in Irvine, Calif.

According to PCWorld, Belkin isn’t just buying a prestige brand to enhance its existing home-networking product line. “It plans to market networking products under both the brands,” wrote PCWorld’s senior editor, Michael Brown.

Brown asked Belkin’s chief technology officer Brian Van Harlingen to explain how this acquisition was going to benefit consumers. “Belkin’s employees “strive to understand user needs, and deliver a good user experience,” he replied.

Per the CTO’s explanation, the philosophy at Linksys is similar, but its strengths are different. “While Linksys has done good work with Smart Wi-Fi, we have done great work in terms of quality of service,” Van Harlingen told Brown. “We think the ultimate outcome of putting the two companies together will be ‘1+1=3.’”

Furthermore, continued Van Harlingen, “Belkin sees Linksys as a premier brand. They brought wireless networking into the home. But our intention is to maintain both brands in networking; each has a unique appeal to consumers, and we think we can create differentiation for the two product lines.”

As a result of this deal, Belkin’s CTO sees an opportunity to gain some market share in the small to medium-sized business (SMB) market, one that Linksys had largely drifted away from under Cisco’s control.

Meanwhile, Belkin is working on a long-term plan and product roadmap. Concurrently, Belkin also hopes Linksys’ acquisition will help the company to grow its budding line of home-automation products, the WeMo brand.  

"The beauty of the WeMo line using a Wi-Fi network, as opposed to Z-Wave or ZigBee, is that you can buy a product that will perform a function without depending on another product. You don’t need a gateway as the Z-Wave and ZigBee protocols generally require," commented Van Harlingen.

Edited by Braden Becker

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