There is confusion when it comes to the difference between Segway and Ninebot and understandably so. Read below to know all about Segway and Ninebot.
The Segway was invented and founded by Dean Kamen. Segway is the original self-balancing gyroscopic electric scooter. It became famous for its two-wheeled personal transporter. It was originally used by the rich and famous in the US as a gimmick and for tours around the city. For decades, it was marketed as a security and military solution, but unfortunately, it never got further than being used for moving oversized mall cops around. Segway as a company refused to compromise on its price and size and rejected compromising on certain functionalities to appeal to consumer demand.
10 years later, after the invention, hoverboards and smaller sized self-balancing scooters were being manufactured by companies in large quantities using the gyroscopic technology originally used for Segway. One of those companies was Ninebot. Ninebot Inc. was founded in 2012 by a group of Chinese robotic engineers. They had already been developing and showcasing various technologies. Ninebot was one of the first companies to design and create a direct and more affordable Segway. In doing so, Ninebot became Segway’s competitor.
Segway later on went on to sue Ninebot for breaching their intellectual property, because they felt as though Ninebot designed all their products based on Segway’s self-balancing transporters. In response to this, Ninebot decided to raise money, enough to buy Segway as a whole and they succeeded, with the help of Xiaomi. Segway was purchased by Ninebot in 2015. This is why now the most popular scooter models are owned by the same company Xiaomi: the Segway ES2 and the Xiaomi M365 electric scooters.
Now, the real difference between Ninebot and Segway is that Segway was a failed company and Ninebot was more flexible with the response to their customer needs when they developed the Ninebot One and then Ninebot Mini (and Pro). Ninebot had been chipping away at the Segway market for years, eroding its brand and wiping out its market share. Ninebot, had enough financial strenght to pull Segway, out of its financial struggle. Xiaomi being an electric mobility company used their potential to the max by investing in Ninebot which lead them to dominate all hardware media platforms in mobile technology or TV and now PEVs (Personal Electric Vehicles). By controlling those hardware platforms, Xiami will be able to launch value-added software services based on consumer patterns. Furthemore, all Xiaomi phones will have preinstalled ninebot app which allows Xiaomi to track user patterns and location.
To put it shortly, there really is no difference. The company decided in naming the Ninebot-Segway ES2. Officially it was called – the “Ninebot ES2 Kickscooter by Segway”; but later on called it both the Ninebot-Segway and Segway-Ninebot in different marketing/information materials.
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