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Cisco to Grow in Consumer Electronics

Cisco Systems, the networking giant known for complex products that require a high level of expertise to operate, is getting ready to enter the consumer electronics market with products such as radios, telephones, and home theater devices.

According to the Financial Times, Cisco is making this quantum leap because the Internet has become the common denominator among these previously stand-alone devices. Cisco�s routers account for a significant piece of the Internet backbone. Cisco already has a presence in consumer electronics retail outlets through Linksys, its home networking device arm. Cisco acquired the device maker for $500 million during 2003.

But Cisco is looking for a bigger profile in the consumer market. One of the company�s executives believes the company has a number of advantages over traditional consumer electronics companies such as Sony, Bose, and Panasonic. According to Charles Giancarlo, the head of the company�s Linksys home networking division, Cisco�s relationship with portal companies such as Google and Yahoo gives it a leg up on traditional consumer electronics firms.

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