Friday, May 18, 2012

No more DECT from Polycom?!

Just one day after the news that the Polycom DECT handsets are now certified for Microsoft Lync, Polycom sold the cordless unit to a private equity firm for half the price that they paid five years ago. Polycom was perceived as a major player in the DECT IP world, do we have to be concerned that this is the beginning of the end of DECT?
I don’t think that this move was so much about DECT. Most of the price that Polycom paid for the unit was actually for WLAN-based technology. I cannot agree more, WLAN-based handsets are an endangered species. In an age where it is almost impossible to get a smart phone without camera and WLAN, making WLAN handsets is destined to a very small market niche. The list of failed vendors trying to make a WLAN-based handset is long. Voice remains a very important application in the LAN (wireless or not), and DECT continues to provide a solution that fits the needs. Looking from the outside I would say that the DECT handsets were so much embedded into the cordless unit that they had no choice but to sell it off as well.
Selling the business unit does not mean that the unit gets shut down. It will be interesting to see what the next moves are in the WLAN and in the DECT space. My guess: They just OEM a smart phone and put software on it for the WLAN part, and continue what they did before on the DECT side.