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Cisco: We're not a smartphone maker

Or a storage biz

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Cisco isn't interested in competing against Apple or Research in Motion by selling a smartphone of its own, the company's CEO John Chambers said on Tuesday.

During an analyst day media lunch at Cisco's HQ in San Jose, the company's top boss said it's content just soaking in profits from the added network demand smartphones are sending data centers and service providers.

In addition, Cisco isn't confident that it could rise to the top of the heap with its own smartphone — a goal that must be seen as feasible before the company will enter uncharted territory, Chambers noted.

"We love the way that Apple, RIM, and Microsoft, are loading the networks and want to interop within that. But when we enter markets, we enter to be number one or number two. With our target market of 40 per cent that's really not an option."

Chambers also suggested the company won't enter the storage market anytime soon and run afoul of EMC, despite its expanded interest in becoming a one-stop shop for data center kit. When asked if Cisco can expand without making storage, Chambers said: "Yes, and we could have done it ultimately without doing servers as well if we could have gotten as tight of a partnership as I hoped we would have been able to do with an IBM or an HP. With an EMC partnership, the answer is yes."

Chambers said he uses General Electric, which recently dumped its control of NBC Universal on Comcast's lap, as a negative model on how to do acquisitions. He said that any biz Cisco jumps into must firmly be grounded in the networking core, rather than GE's scattered portfolio "where the lightbulbs don't tie into the jet engines." ®

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