Cisco as Sony

The Financial Times is reporting tonight that Cisco is going to enter the consumer electronics market. Granted, Cisco is already sorta in that market — What else you would you call its Linksys division’s consumer networking products? — but the company is now talking about going much further. While I don’t find that hard to believe, the paraphrase in the FT implies that Cisco is thinking about radios, stereos, phones, and home theater equipment. That seems more than a bit much.

Either way, here is Charles Giancarlo, Cisco’s chief development officer, explaining the move to the FT:

“Consumer electronics companies have been able to compete on a stand-alone device but the dynamics of the market are changing. The internet and new networking requirements are enough of a disruptor for us to enter a new market.”

A fascinating move, and an indictment of opportunities in Cisco’s core networking markets.