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Om Malik on Foxconn Buying Belkin

Om Malik:

“I can’t put my finger on why, but this acquisition seems weird to me,” writes John Gruber, describing Foxconn’s decision to buy Belkin for $866 million. It is not that weird, especially when you take into account the competitive landscape.

TL: DR version: Foxconn needs to boost margins. Belkin has a great brand but faces an increasingly competitive landscape. It is weirdly about Taiwan vs. China.

I’ve always felt Belkin kit was kind of crappy — never more so than the comparison between their Qi charging pad and Mophie’s. Mophie’s is so much better — at the same price — it’s ridiculous. The big difference is that the Belkin charging pad has a very small sweet spot — you have to place your phone on it just so. And the Belkin one has an ugly bright green LED that turns on when you’re charging, and points up. Garish on a bedside table. The Mophie one has a subtle white light that points down, not up. I’ve also become a fan of Anker’s products (and have this Qi charger on my desk). I kind of feel like Foxconn bought a loser here.

Chris Pepper also made a keen observation about why this acquisition seems weird: “Because Foxconn manufactures a lot of Belkin’s competitors’ products.”

Wednesday, 28 March 2018