Cisco Systems, well known for selling devices that direct Internet data, has announced plans to sell phones, radios, and home theater equipment, according to the Financial Times.
The San Jose, Calif., company began in 1984 as a routing equipment manufacturer before branching out more fully into the computer communications market, including Ethernet switches, cable modem termination systems, storage area network switches, firewalls, VoIP gateways, and various WiFi technologies. The acquisition of Linksys in 2003 brought home and end user priorities into sharper focus at Cisco, and the company is looking to further broaden the scope of its offerings.
“Consumer electronics companies have been able to compete on a stand-alone device, but the dynamics of the market are changing,” Cisco’s Chief Development Officer, Charles Giancarlo, said in an interview with the paper. “The Internet and new networking requirements are enough of a disruptor for us to enter a new market,” he said.
Like other Silicon Valley companies that survived the bursting of the Internet Bubble, Cisco is looking to diversify to maintain its market share and keep its shareholders happy. Entry into what is already a crowded market might be just the ticket.