Robot Cleaning War Breaks Out Over 50% Price Difference Pain
A robot vacuum cleaning war has broken out with US Company Roomba taking exception to a Shark Ninja model that is half the price.
The reason claims Roomba is that the Shark Ninja models include technology nicked from Roomba.
Last year at CES Roomba launched a new award-winning model that maps your home, schedules sweeps through each room, empties the dust bin itself and even knows where to resume cleaning after has returned to its base for a recharge.
However, within months the Shark Ninja Operating Company launched a model with similar features.
“Shark is not even shy about being a copycat,” iRobot said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Boston. The company said, “the Shark IQ Robot offers the same iRobot technology at ‘half the price of iRobot i7+’.”
The Roomba i7+ sells for US$999.99 on the company’s U.S. website. The Shark IQ Robot is for sale for US $449.40 on their website.
iRobot asked a judge to order the Shark Ninja product removed from the market “at the earliest possible date” without waiting for a trial.
“While it may have been easy for Shark to rush its copycat product in time for the holiday sales season, it will be impossible for iRobot to recoup its losses” if the case drags out for a year or more, iRobot said in the request.
The fight between the two robot cleaning Companies emerged as iRobot shares fell 9% this week.
Analysts claim that iRobot is grappling with increased competition in the home robot space from companies like Shark. The firm stated that companies in this segment are luring customers by lowering product prices. The prices will likely impact iRobot’s earnings and revenues.
Currently iRobot is trading at its three-year low with the stock which in recent times has climbed 61% fell 13% after its second-quarter results.
Although the company beat analysts’ earnings estimates, it missed the revenue estimates in the June quarter.
iRobot’s management said that the ongoing trade war between the US and China weighed on the company’s top line and profit margins.
Shark Ninja, a unit of EP Midco, filed a pre-emptive lawsuit asking the US judge to declare that the Shark IQ doesn’t infringe six patents cited in iRobot’s complaint, nor five others. Shark Ninja denied copying any iRobot technology and said the Shark IQ was the result of its own research and development.
In Australia Chinese Robot cleaning Company Ecovacs has gone remarkably quiet after a change in management earlier this year. The Company has not said how well they are performing.