iPhone maker Foxconn wants to get into smart homes
Manufacturer buys accessory company Belkin to get access to consumer brands
One of the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturers is buying one of the world’s biggest smartphone accessory companies.
Taiwan’s Foxconn says it’s buying Belkin for US$866 million in cash. Alongside Belkin’s PC and smartphone accessory business, Foxconn also gets the Linksys brand of network routers and the Wemo line of smart home products.
And it’s the latter that might be the focus here. In a press release, the two companies said the purchase would allow Foxconn to tap into “premium accessories and the smart home market.”
Foxconn is mostly known for making products for other companies, most notably Apple. This deal would give the company access to brands that sell directly to consumers.
But one of those brands could be a sticking point: Linksys.
The deal is still subject to US government approval, and the sale of an American company that makes networking equipment to a company with vast operations in China comes at an awkward time. The Wall Street Journal reported just last week that the US government was considering new rules that would make it harder for Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE to sell telecommunications equipment in the country.