Cisco's declining set-top sales tied to subscriber losses

It could be that Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), one of the cable industry's notorious set-top duopoly vendors along with Motorola (NYSE: MOT), could be in the throes of a set-top slump because the cable industry, itself, is in the throes of a subscriber slump. Or it could be that the set-top market is just in a transformative period and once cable operators decide what they're doing with next-gen Internet-connected devices, things will get better.

Whatever the case, things don't look good for the folks out in Silicon Valley. In a Multichannel News analysis, Todd Spangler reported that Cisco's set-top box business dropped from an annual run-rate of $2 billion to $1.6 billion based on a number of factors including a recessed economy, poor housing starts, digital box saturation and the fact that cable customers continue to lose subscribers.

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