What is more interesting in this announcement is that it signals a new positioning for Gemalto. The smart card industry is used to dealing with large corporate customers such as mobile network operators, financial institutions and governments. With this announcement, Gemalto is now developing a mass-market strategy. This strategy has internal organizational consequences for Gemalto as a company dealing with the public at large has different needs from a company dealing with the B2B arena.
Earlier this year, Gemalto launched its JustAskGemalto website (cf. Smart Insights #09-05), another move targeting the public at large. The will to have more visibility is not new in our industry: old-timers may remember that by the mid-1990s,Gemplus introduced the marking of its brand name on smart card micromodules, a move quickly followed by several other vendors. Unfortunately, this has never led end users to ask for a given brand name of SIM card when they subscribe to mobile communication services.
When Gemalto was created in 2006, Olivier Piou, the company CEO, announced a strong focus on digital security with an ultimate goal for Gemalto to be considered as an IT company and no longer as a smart card industrialist. With this positioning change, Gemalto’s objective it to benefit from a better company valuation, and be compared to the HP, IBM, RIM, Google, SanDisk, ...
This announcement also comes in due time for the company’s Annual General Meeting of Shareholders that took place on May 20.