Recently in a shocking(for me ) turn of events i heard form my client that SIMCOM (My bread and butter) got acquired by UBLOX (The expensive modules manufacturer). It got me concerned immediately, I don't know why, May be i am just over reacting. :-P
When i heard this news i was not so happy because i am a big fan of SIMCOM and its products, especially the super cheap GSM,GPRS modules they make. I would not trade working with them for anything. I just love them, because they all are basically the same thing over and over in different packages and sizes with different names. Take the SIM300,SIM900,SIM800,SIM808,SIM908 for example, i have worked with all of them and have been glued to working with them and recommending them for every other person or client i meet.
Today so far i have designed so many projects and most of them which are under successful production. I had never had any complaints with these modules. Mainly because i get these things locally in India for a very low price and i am used to them.
SIMCOM never stopped impressing me with the new product launches and lots of modules or products being added to the list regularly. Especially the new SIM800 family was like my new trump card. I was like using them in anything i get my hands on to design with.
Apart from being a super cheap module supplier these modules come very well documented and lot of community support is present. To tell in simple words. I wrote a library for these modules once around 4 years back and i am still using the same with very minor modifications.
What i absolutely love about them,
- The commands remain the same across all module families and the pin connections are the same.
- Same power supply requirements.
- Almost all modules are kept pin compatible to the older versions.
- I rarely look at hardware design guides before designing a new circuit. Its always the common concepts and same things to be taken care of.
- Super cheap prices
The modules have served me very well in all of my projects.
Now that i hear the company got acquired by UBLOX for 59.2 million USD. I am feeling a little depressed. Although i have read the existing products will be supported after the acquisition but its like a golden goose has been taken away from me. I have never been a big fan of UBLOX because of the expensive stuff they make, which are kind of totally unacceptable for my designs. I call it out of syllabus. :D
According to me, there can be two outcomes of this acquisition,
Either UBLOX lets SIMCOM team do its job and just let them design new awesome stuff and sell at cheap prices (which i absolutely love :P) or
They mess up the whole thing and the trust that SIMCOM has built and use the SIMCOM team to fuel their expensive module designs and make it a night mare for us. Fingers crossed. And sorry for the Rant :(
Disclaimer: This is a totally personal opinion and i am no expert on SIMCOM or UBLOX. I might be wrong. Please go ahead and educate me in the below comments.
I spoke to SIMCOM India operations head Mr.Rajesh and Mr.Siva regarding the acquisition and what they said is as below,
The acquisition is only going to make things better from customers point of view.
SIMCOM is a world leader in low and mid class M2M,GSM,GPRS products and UBLOX is a leader in high end M2M, and GPS technology.
SIMCOM will continue to innovate the products on the M2M,GSM,GPRS side and since UBLOX has a superior GPS technology expertise compared to SIMCOM, the merger will result in much better products on GPS side and strengthen the low and mid M2M market of SIMCOM.
The purchase channels and products pricing of SIMCOM products will not increase or change. The modules will continue to be affordable as they are now.
SIMCOM design team will keep innovating with the same brand name and keep adding more products in the future.
In short there is no need to worry (or overreact like above ) :P
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