CW: Compared to Cisco and other players, Netgear is just a small number and not necessarily an innovation leader. How do you want to survive in this competition?

LO : We continue our policy of offering Small Business SMB at affordable prices. We pay attention to speed and easy operation - this is different from the big players. At the same time, this is our distinguishing feature compared to the Taiwanese and Chinese manufacturers, who only follow the technology trends and can only do one thing: cheap, cheap and cheap again. These providers lag behind us on a technical level two to three years.

CW: And what does the user of it?

LO : Take the topic of switching. For about four and a half years, we have been offering switches with a web interface, also known as smart switches. In addition, our smart switches support Gigabit Ethernet or Power over Ethernet or are stackable. You will not find all that with the Taiwanese.

CW: Are you already feeling the economic crisis, and what do you expect for the next six months?

LO : Here we have to differentiate between the consumer and the SMB market. Both segments currently have a weighting of 50 to 50. In the consumer segment, we are already recording slumps, while the SMB is performing well.

Problematic consumer market

CW: Why is it hitting the consumer market so hard?

Netgear CEO Patrick Lo will in den Security-Markt einsteigen.
Netgear CEO Patrick Lo wants to enter the security market.

LO: There are two reasons for this. When we look at the United States and the United Kingdom, consumers feel the hardest impact of the real estate and credit crises. And it is an old wisdom that consumers who are in a difficult economic situation buy less. Unfortunately, this wave is slowly but surely spilling over into France and Germany. That's a psychological problem. To make matters worse, however, that in many households so far the only purpose of a network is to connect the PC to the Internet. And this market is slowly saturated. In the western world, 70 to 80 percent of households are now likely to have a wireless router. These customers will hardly upgrade to the new, faster 802.11n wireless routers in the dire economic climate. Because in order to come only to the Internet, they do not need the devices, this is also sufficient for a 801.11g model. So why not wait a year for the economy to get better?

CW: So you have written off the private clients for the moment?

LO : No, but we have to invent new consumer-grade gadgets that are as appealing as Wi-Fi routers if sales are not going to go down.

CW: And what makes us happy with Netgear?

LO : We have three products in the pipeline. One is a new Network Attached Storage (NAS). In addition, we want to bring to Christmas a new Digital Entertainment Center on the market, which is significantly more powerful than the existing model. And as the third gadget, we're working on a home security box based on the expertise we acquired with the acquisition of CP Secure in September. The box is not only intended to protect home computers from network threats, but also to give parents greater control over which pages their children are surfing.