While there is no denying that the personal computer market is on a rapid decline, Logitech, the pioneering computer mouse maker, is unwilling to move beyond its PC legacy. Nonetheless, these days, the chief executive of the company is devoting most of his time to figure out how to expand their business in the rapidly-growing accessory markets. The CEO and design-minded president of the firm, Bracken Darrell, has been in charge of the company for four years. All of his time has been focused on pushing the Swiss-American electronic accessories maker into wearables, gaming, mobile music speakers and video and home controls.
A home control device was recently introduced by Logitech, which is known as the Pop switch and it can be used as a remote control for door locks, lights, thermostats, speakers and various other household devices. Speaking to investors on Wednesday at the Morgan Stanley European Tech Media and Telecom conference, Darrell said that they were working on developing cloud-based peripherals. He asserted that the PC business had been pushed to a dark space in his head and other areas of the business are just full of excitement. Previously, the company had been moving towards steady decline, but Darrell has succeeded in transforming its financial results.
As a matter of fact, Logitech is on its way to report a steady growth in sales of about 10% in constant currencies and there has also been an improvement in profit margins at about the same level. The company was founded in the very early days of the PC era almost 35 years ago. In the most recent quarter, a 1% decline was reported in the sales of pointing devices whereas there was a 20% increase in the sale of mobile music speakers. Similarly, there was a 43% increase in sales of video conferencing tools such as webcams and 35% for other audio equipment.
It has been predicted by research firm Gartner that worldwide shipments of new PCs are going to go down by 8% this year. The CEO of Logitech said that even though the PC peripheral business has no chances of growing, the company is still holding its own in that market. PC accessories such as keyboards and mikes made a contribution of nearly half of the net sales worth $564 million, which were made in the quarter ended in September. Moreover, Logitech is also getting ready to make its move into the virtual reality market and develop gadgets for augmented reality.
Its product developers have chosen to use the pointing device technology they had developed in the early 1990s for an early generation of virtual reality systems that hadn’t panned out. Darrell said that there is unprecedented scope available to inventors for reinventing all kinds of products these days. This is because electronic components like network sensors, storage, microprocessors and internet-connected and cloud-based services are almost available for free. He said that almost anything could be made a part of the Internet of Things and he gave the example of the wooden chair he was sitting on to back his statement.