A few years ago to move in Segway, his Blackberry in your pocket, it was the symbol of ‘trendiness ‘. Now, apart from power a few lazy tourists or give an image more sympathetic to the forces of order, the Segway is somewhat gone out of fashion. Even the president of the company, the millionaire Jimi Heselden, is bored with her toy in the waves of the river Wharfe.
As if the cut was pretty full steps, the American brand, no doubt invited by its powerful Chinese investors was bought by Ninebot, a manufacturer of competitor Segway that American had attacked sued for plagiarism and infringement of patents. Sad epilogue to an innovation that has been unable to find its market.
The means of transport of the future, but what future?
The gyropod and its cousin the gyrowheel are really the means of locomotion of the future? Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway was perhaps too soon, is the history of Segway knows a ultimate blip with this acquisition by Ninebot.
Although able to lift $80 million from Xiaomi, Sequoia Capital and Huawei, Segway is its copier that has to be smarter. With his personal Ninebot Elite and its Ninebot One gyroroue, Ninebot Announces sold 54.500 ‘vehicles’ in the world. An impressive figure if it turned out, especially for a company that is still only 280 people, including 38 engineers. The redemption of Segway mechanically up Ninebot as become a leader in this market. In addition to access to the U.S. market, the pioneer of the personal brings a portfolio of 400 patents to which are added the 17 patents held by Chinese.
Segway, including the personal were two times more expensive than those of are competing Chinese (over $ 6,000 vs. $3,500 for a Ninebot Elite) had attempted to sue Chinese manufacturers that offer recent years price clones. Too late for Segway. Maybe it will draw more and more startups U.S. While Chinese companies are more and more present in Silicon Valley and that these investment funds prove to be more enterprising.
Translation : Bing Translator
Source : “Ninebot Limited and Segway Inc. Complete Strategic Combination”, Segway press release, April 15, 2015