A friend just let me know that Amazon is no longer carrying the Wink hub as a new item, you have to buy it from a third party seller. (He had one in his cart and got the notice.) Not marked as out of stock–discontinued.
I wonder if they’re having supply chain issues because of the bankruptcy?
This might have to do with Wink’s rearranging its whole structure. The hub on Wink’s website is now $89, which sounds more like the actual price of a hub. They have been changing a lot of the things and how they approach their customers, updates, etc. With the changes they’re introducing, I honestly don’t think they’re going to cease to exist. At least for the short term.
Wink is currently scheduled to be “bought” by wink’s largest creditor, The company that manufactures their hardware. Pretty much everyone believes that’s just a stalking horse bid, intended to set a minimum floor for how much they think that division is worth.
Most likely, existing retailers are selling out of existing inventory, and the hardware company just doesn’t want to sell the hub at a loss anymore.
I don’t think it represents a true new business strategy, rather just their way of getting through The bankruptcy while trying to find a new owner.
I personally believe that those absurd offers of the hub being free, $0.99 or just $20 were the ones that got Quirky bankrupt. That and the Winkening. You can’t offer something for free just to get the a huge customer base if you don’t have the financial support like Amazon, Google, etc. That’s why I think Wink bumped the price. I don’t think a hub with a Z-wave plus, Zigbee, Bluetooth, WiFi and Lutron ClearConnect antenna can be sold for just $50.
Thing is, most people that go into Home Depot today and see their smart home section, find that you can now play with light bulbs and see how they work, and there’s a hub there that allows them to play with it. They have no idea Wink is up for sale… They get it and find it works, it is just not instantaneous.
They’re getting into the “business installation” model, and they’re adding partnerships at a very fast pace. I know this because I run the Wink hub to control my Lutron lights and my Nest integration, so I follow both ST and Wink.
The company is currently in bankruptcy and currently up for sale. So what they’re doing now is riding out the momentum of plans they’ve had for a while. But the current management will not be the future management. And there’s no telling what the business model will be.
Here’s the first sentence from the story you linked to:
Wink founder Nathan Smith said the Quirky spinoff’s partnership with Schenectady is exploratory and that he’s hoping the business stays in the city after its future sale.
He’s hoping all the stuff will happen. But he can’t say it will. He can’t say what business plan any new owners might have. And neither can anyone else right now.
Right now they can throw as many partnerships or whatever out there as they want that other people will sign-on for, because they no longer have to worry at all about profitability. Or scalability. Or impact on anything else. This company is already In bankruptcy, and not a bankruptcy to re-organize. A bankruptcy for a sale of assets.
So we’ll just have to see what happens. But it won’t necessarily have anything to do with what’s happening right now.
Awesome, I’ve never been able to find the Kuna or Ring in store… probably a good thing otherwise I’d be broke…
The Canary looks nice and I think I read somewhere that it can do intelligent motion sensing based on the video feed being able to identify different things such as dogs/cats. That being said, same issue as Nest Cam, Kuna, Ring and possibly soon ST… locked into the cloud for recording, no thanks.