HP buys a manufacturer of headphones that transmitted the first words of the moon

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HP announced its eighth largest acquisition yesterday. For $ 3.3 billion, Poly wants to buy headphones, webcams and other video conferencing products. The deal has yet to be approved by shareholders and authorities, but should be completed this year.

This is HP’s second similar purchase in the last year. Last year, the company took over the 425 million HyperX division from Kingston, which produces computer peripherals, headphones and microphones. However, the company targeted primarily at players, Poly focuses on businesses and professionals.

Poly does not yet have such a strong name in the world, but the company’s history dates back to the early 1960s. At that time, the company was called Plantronics and was engaged in the production of headsets for telephone operators and pilots. The company subsequently approached NASA because it needed a lightweight headset that they could use to communicate with astronauts during the Mercury and Apollo programs. The famous words were thus transmitted to Plantronics: “It is a small step for man, but a great leap for humanity.”

The company was also a pioneer in wireless headsets, on which it worked in the 80’s. But then they used unreliable infrared transmission. Plantronics began to reap greater success 15 years ago when it produced the first models with Bluetooth. Four years ago, Plantronics bought its rival Polycom for two billion dollars, and a year later it changed its name to Poly.

With this acquisition, HP wants to strengthen the peripheral market, which spins over one hundred billion dollars a year. He mentions the increasingly important role of video conferencing via MS Teams or Zoom, which bring together people from all over the world. Even two years after the massive lockdowns, the market for headsets and cameras is still not sufficiently saturated.

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