OWC Acquires Popular Thunderbolt 3 Accessory Maker Akitio

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Longtime Mac accessory vendor OWC today announced that it has acquired Akitio, maker of popular professional-level external storage solutions focused on Thunderbolt 3. Akitio also offers a number of other Thunderbolt 3 accessories including docks, eGPU boxes, and more.

"This acquisition gives us the opportunity to strengthen our core prosumer lineup and market reach with photography, video and music pros with some really exceptional new offerings," said Larry O'Connor, OWC Founder & CEO. "Our product lines and brands are quite complementary, with Akitio bringing a strong reputation in the Windows space and segments like performance gaming, AR/VR, high-end creative strengths to our base. I see tremendous opportunities ahead for our team and our customers."
While Akitio joins OWC's other brands at OWC's Illinois headquarters, Akitio's teams in California and internationally will remain at their current locations and all customer support and warranty obligations will be honored without interruption.

Article Link: OWC Acquires Popular Thunderbolt 3 Accessory Maker Akitio
 

monokakata

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May 8, 2008
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I wonder how much difference this will make, really. It was clear to me that the OWC TB enclosures were really Akitio, rebranded. I've had the 4 bay TB2 model, and the 4 bay TB3 model. The TB3 model is identical physically, but of course I don't know whether the firmware is the same or not.
 

linuxcooldude

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I wonder how much difference this will make, really. It was clear to me that the OWC TB enclosures were really Akitio, rebranded. I've had the 4 bay TB2 model, and the 4 bay TB3 model. The TB3 model is identical physically, but of course I don't know whether the firmware is the same or not.
Considering their 4 bays are soft raid and not hardware raid, maybe Akitio will at least give you the option.
 
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macduke

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Maybe I'm slowly becoming a grumpy old man who doesn't like change, but this makes me nervous. I've always had a great experience with Akitio and I'm just not sure OWC can keep that up. Maybe... but only time will tell.
Well, I don't have a lot of experience with OWC aside from some RAM which always worked, but in the past I looked all over and bought several USB 3.0 to eSATA controllers for some G-Drives that I had and all of them sucked until I bought the one from OWC which worked amazingly well. So, uh, that's something.
 

cult hero

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Jun 6, 2005
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Hmmm. Not sure how I feel about this. OWC has been a mixed bag for me. (Their SATA SSDs were a disaster for me.) I have their original Thunderbolt hub and while I’ve never had a problem with it, the cheaper Elgato works just as well and in Windows.

I picked up the Akitio Node Pro about a month ago and it’s awesome. I can’t rate the totality of a company by one purchase but I’ve followed Akitio for a long time because of my interest in Thunderbolt since it was unveiled. They’ve really been ahead of the game in terms of Thunderbolt offerings.

The gripes about the prices are overblown though. Akitio can be a bit cheaper but when comparing similar products, they’re in the same ballpark. Thunderbolt gear ain’t cheap and it appears Intel was only joking about removing royalties.

The fact that OWC acquired Akitio implies (hopefully) they want the competitive offerings and plan on maintaining Akitio’s line In favor of their Helios stuff. I really hope this is a case of “if you can’t beat’em, buy’em.” If they sunset Akitio’s products, that will suck.
 
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Steve01234

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I have a few Akitio products and they just work. I met the president / head engineer last year and he is well into retirement age so not too surprised he wanted to get out. its a really small company. OWC will likely double prices just because rather than keeping Akitio's competitive pricing :(
 

Anarchy99

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OWC will likely double prices just because rather than keeping Akitio's competitive pricing :(
probably, and if that's the case I'll go elsewhere for my eGPU/PCIe enclosures.


the dirty secret none of these eGPU/TB adapter companies want to admit is there is no real value distinction between brands.
its just converting one PCIe standard to another and since one companies egpu enclosure is largely like another. (if you care about the most performance you dont want additional usb ports etc. as that just takes away bus bandwidth.)

so people will choose whoever makes the most affordable enclosures.

the only way I see the prices staying the same is the same reason i expect most manufacturer's of bare enclosures across the board to plummet this year.
mid last year Intel announced that they were dropping royalty fees for TB3, so i expect 2019 will be the year of Thunderbolt as cheap Chinese enclosures will start appearing creating price competition.


still not happy about this, merger, akitio won my loyalty because unlike other "cool gamer" brands they didnt price gouge
 
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manu chao

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I wonder how much difference this will make, really. It was clear to me that the OWC TB enclosures were really Akitio, rebranded. I've had the 4 bay TB2 model, and the 4 bay TB3 model. The TB3 model is identical physically, but of course I don't know whether the firmware is the same or not.
Doesn't quite look that way to me:


Akito Thunder3 Quad X: $379
OWC Thunderbay 4 (w/ TB3): $399

(Admittedly, that OWC price is a price reduction from originally $449.99.)
 

jimthing

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OWC = Other Worldly Currency

Now these new accessories will cost an arm and a leg. Possibly your first-born too, depending if you take out the extended warranty.
In the UK, it also means "Oral With Condom".
In the UK it still means...
Where on earth can I buy most of OWC's products locally?!

They're one of these companies that thinks nowhere outside the US/Can exists.

Seemingly they sell directly only in the US, with additional Amazon store. Yet even running just a stocked Amazon store in other mass market territories like the UK seems beyond them.

I went with other brands on several items, as the only way to get OWC's versions, was from obscure third-party sellers – sellers usually with massive price gauges for the luxury, often with unknown/negative sales records, and returns policies that were frankly non-existent.

Laughably bad European distribution OWC has had for years now. It's embarrassing.
 
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Anarchy99

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They're one of these companies that thinks nowhere outside the US/Can exists.
basically just US, Canada has a invisible force field that doubles cost after exchange for anything lucky enough to ship over the boarder.

I allways either drive down to the US or use a US reshipper and mail it to myself on the cheap
 

jimthing

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basically just US, Canada has a invisible force field that doubles cost after exchange for anything lucky enough to ship over the boarder.

I allways either drive down to the US or use a US reshipper and mail it to myself on the cheap
Nice idea, except the returns issues, I'd guess.
Which reshipper(s) have you used – never tried one before?
 
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Anarchy99

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Nice idea, except the returns issues, I'd guess.
Which reshipper(s) have you used – never tried one before?
I use either montana shipping outlet or shipito.com
for someone in the UK id probably us shipito as the main reason i use montana shipping is closer physical proximity to me on big ticket items.

with shipito they take pictures of the box when it arrives so if its really beat up you can reject it, (you can even have them open the internal packaging if you wanted to pay extra) either way they offer insurance options for lost,stolen or damaged on the reshipment if you so choose.

honestly i never opt for them to inspect the insides I just choose one of the shipping options with a tracking number and pay with a credit card that offers extended warranty so i have another route to dispute if needed. so far its worked out and over the years I've sent myself hundreds of things.

pro tip: if you use them ship to the Oregon mailbox they offer (they give you multiple options of addresses to use) Oregon has no sales tax
 

jimthing

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I use either montana shipping outlet or shipito.com
for someone in the UK id probably us shipito as the main reason i use montana shipping is closer physical proximity to me on big ticket items.

with shipito they take pictures of the box when it arrives so if its really beat up you can reject it, (you can even have them open the internal packaging if you wanted to pay extra) either way they offer insurance options for lost,stolen or damaged on the reshipment if you so choose.

honestly i never opt for them to inspect the insides I just choose one of the shipping options with a tracking number and pay with a credit card that offers extended warranty so i have another route to dispute if needed. so far its worked out and over the years I've sent myself hundreds of things.

pro tip: if you use them ship to the Oregon mailbox they offer (they give you multiple options of addresses to use) Oregon has no sales tax
Many thanks for detailed response!

Though it really should be the company sorting the BS distribution out, rather than their so-called customers having to muck around with import duties or ideas like this, lol.

May try that for a new Futitsu Scansnap iX1500 document scanner, as yet again, the UK price (and even worse across other EU!) is utterly ridiculous compared to the US one (inc. the extra VAT/duty, you'd expect here, the US price is still much cheaper).
 
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Anarchy99

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Many thanks for detailed response!

Though it really should be the company sorting the BS distribution out, rather than their so-called customers having to muck around with import duties or ideas like this, lol.

May try that for a new Futitsu Scansnap iX1500 document scanner, as yet again, the UK price (and even worse across other EU!) is utterly ridiculous compared to the US one (inc. the extra VAT/duty, you'd expect here, the US price is still much cheaper).
i agree, after using re-shipping companies for so many years it makes me wonder why big companies don't do it themselves (amazon comes to mind)


or heck considering iPhones are drop shipped from china how come its still like $400 or so cheaper for me to buy the top of the line iPhone in the US vs Canada. (yes i realize dodging taxes make a big part of the differnce ) when my dollar is .75 cents to there $1

so much for a global economy. :/


anyway if you plan on doing multiple US shopping things another option both can places can do is package consolidation so then you can ship out multiple items in one box and it saves on the reship cost vs sending them individually.

they can either packaged together both outer boxes (little to no savings), remove the outer box (more savings) or remove it from the outbox and retail packaging.
I usually go with the middle option as retail packaging is good for returns/peace of mind.

i think the consolidation is only available from shipito if you rent the virtual mailbox rather than doing one off packages but im unsure.
another cool thing with consolidation is they have a option to fit everything in the max box size allows and if any item doesn't fit you can have them either ship it solo or return it back to your mailbox.

i use the a lot with small items if there not to time sensitive, then i have it auto-ship out when its close to full
 
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jimthing

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i agree, after using re-shipping companies for so many years it makes me wonder why big companies don't do it themselves (amazon comes to mind)


or heck considering iPhones are drop shipped from china how come its still like $400 or so cheaper for me to buy the top of the line iPhone in the US vs Canada. (yes i realize dodging taxes make a big part of the differnce ) when my dollar is .75 cents to there $1

so much for a global economy. :/


anyway if you plan on doing multiple US shopping things another option both can places can do is package consolidation so then you can ship out multiple items in one box and it saves on the reship cost vs sending them individually.

they can either packaged together both outer boxes (little to no savings), remove the outer box (more savings) or remove it from the outbox and retail packaging.
I usually go with the middle option as retail packaging is good for returns/peace of mind.

i think the consolidation is only available from shipito if you rent the virtual mailbox rather than doing one off packages but im unsure.
another cool thing with consolidation is they have a option to fit everything in the max box size allows and if any item doesn't fit you can have them either ship it solo or return it back to your mailbox.

i use the a lot with small items if there not to time sensitive, then i have it auto-ship out when its close to full
Ah, good to know. But surely you still have tax/duties on arrival with these companies?
[doublepost=1546663427][/doublepost]
Akitio is just a brand, did they buy inXtron (Macpower) ?
Yeah, I thought both OWC and Akitio brands just bought the same enclosures from some OEM supplier and each rebadged them?
 
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Anarchy99

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Ah, good to know. But surely you still have tax/duties on arrival with these companies?
depends
as a canadian i usually reship USPS because it gets handed off to your local postal in my case canadapost in his case royalpost?

canadapost rarely charges duties or tax when they do its based on declared value (you fill out the form and could lie if you wanted)
usually i don't lie, with canada there is no duty on technology so worse case i'd have to pay tax for anything valued over $20 (soon to be $800? thanks USMCA) but once again thats only if they choose to tax me.

id say maybe 1 out of 20 or so packages in the last few years have they bothered to tax, most things i buy have no duty.
considering usually i don't get taxed and if this wasn't possible i'd always get taxed i just chalk it up as a win most of the time and the times i do get taxed on it often its still cheaper to pay the taxes on it coming from there than the canadian price plus tax up here