Zebra Technologies boosts rugged device unit with Xplore acquisition

Zebra Technologies is boosting its ruggedized device business with the $90 million acquisition of Xplore Technologies.

Xplore specialises in the manufacture of semi, fully and ultra-rugged tablets and laptops and generated revenues of $87 million last year.

Zebra Technologies traditional strength has been in barcode and printing technology, but in 2014.it acquired Motorola Solutions’ enterprise business, allowing Zebra to offer rugged mobile computers and tablets, while also expanding its capabilities in data collection and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Zebra Technologies

Two of the more high-profile use cases for its technology are supermarket Waitrose’s Quick Check self-scanning system and the player tracking for the NFL.

This latest acquisition will expand Zebra’s product range and customer base, allowing it to offer more products and services to new and existing markets. It already has a significant presence in the retail, manufacturing, logistics and healthcare sectors, but it is hoped the deal will allow it to target utilities, government and public safety.

“The acquisition of Xplore enhances our product lineup and gives Zebra a complete rugged tablet portfolio that enables our customers to gain a performance edge,” said Anders Gustafsson, Zebra Technologies CEO.

“We’d previously outlined potential areas of expansion that are a natural fit for Zebra and its Enterprise Asset Intelligence vision, and this acquisition is aligned with that strategy. The addition of Xplore provides access to a great team and great products in an attractive market and should enable us to grow the category double digits going forward.”

“Our products are a natural fit for Zebra, creating a comprehensive rugged mobility portfolio that stands against any competitor.,” added Tom Wilkinson, Xplore Technologies CEO.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.