Foxconn, best known for assembling Apple iPhones will devour Belkin, Linksys and Wemo. It is part of a bid to diversify into IT accessories, networking and smart homes.
Belkin accessories and cables have been around for 35 years first coming to Australia via Harvey Norman stores. Eventually, it saw the light and opened distribution up to computer stores and all major retailers. That achieved wider household recognition as a good, reliable and leading-edge product.
Belkin’s product range includes cables, accessories, cases, power chargers, Qi and more. It is a good source of Apple Lighting based accessories. GadgetGuy has reviewed many of its excellent products here.
Linksys started in 1988 and gained prominence for its distinctive blue front, squat, design. The focus was on the home and small business network and router market. Cisco acquired it in 2003 to round out its offerings.
It languished under Cisco that was used to selling products for many times the price of a Linksys. In 2013 Belkin acquired the brand and technology. Unfortunately, this enthusiast brand also languished at Belkin – its latest product was an AC1750 dual band router.
WeMo is a Belkin developed brand and smart home technology. The range includes Wi-Fi enabled power switches, energy monitors, motion sensors, cameras, light bulbs and more.
Foxconn will pay US$866 million – a mere drop in the bucket these days
Purchase is still subject to US Committee of Foreign Investment approval. It has pledged to build a US$10 billion factory in the US to satisfy the Committee. The factory will assemble Sharp branded TV, some Apple products and possibly Belkin’s stable for US consumption.
It is Foxconn’s move to diversify from an assembler to a brand designer and manufacturer. It is also possible that some of Belkin’s stable of products may end up branded for Apple and its stores.
Apple needs to quickly advance its HomeKit offerings. WeMo, Linksys and Belkin will certainly give it a leg-up in that area.