Originally Posted by AJ
I know I've mentioned this before on here but like it or not, Wacom target a niche market. The average consumer have never heard of them and the average consumer doesn't care about running Photoshop with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. It's easy to hold their products up against seemingly similar competition and cry foul but the number of units they'll manufacture and ultimately sell is a drop in the ocean compared to Microsoft/Samsung/Apple...etc. meaning it's much harder to swallow the considerable costs of R&D, Design, manufacturing, marketing and distribution.
I don't know how this myth that Wacom is a niche seller keeps propagating itself...
Wacom is a Japanese monster with a large patents park that licenses to all kind of tertiaries with earnings that have been increasing phenomenally for years.
Currently Wacom is estimated to make a billion dollars earnings this year (record year, which has been pretty much every year for the last five anyway) and well more than that for the next. They are a winning stock entry that lures in more and more investors every year and looks forecast to not suffer risk of slump for the next three at least (their potential growth is trivial to them compared to saturated and troubled markets like the ones faced by other companies).
They license to millions, they SELL to millions in the CAD/CAM/CAE industries, and photoshop and co are far from a niche or a small market when you look at Adobe's earnings anyway, beside not being their only market.
They don't have problems recouping their RnD, they hardly need bother in fact, they often bundle old and depreciated technology at a premium price after wide adoption, and sell it for a premium to a large market.
They also have an ever increasing penetration, second hand, in corporate environments and are moving hard in that direction this year.
They have great brand loyalty, brand recognition and still own market cornering patents and sell for a premium compared to their parts that makes Apple look positively underpriced.
They are NOT your friend, or a niche, or a magnanimous company, they are pretty much the worst of Adobe and Apple combined in terms of fandom/recognition coupled with self propagating de-facto monopoly.
Sadly, they are the only ones making decent products in some domains, and it remains a catch22.