We all know the Arduino brand widely, but time goes on, and things change. And now the world has two brands under which the products are manufactured – Arduino and Genuino. According to known information, the old brand remains solely for the United States market, and the new brand will supply products to all other countries. So it would seem that it is not necessary to worry, because there is no reason for this. But is it so, and what are the real reasons for such a move of the founders? We will try to find out.
The first thing you can find on the Internet is a schematic diagram, from which it is clear that the cards differ only in markings and names. On the producer’s assurance, they are made of the same components, by the same workers, and using the same equipment. And, consequently, they are of the same quality. Therefore there is no visible reason for the end buyer to worry.
But what in general was the reason for such a split? To this question, we will try to find an answer.
Here is what experts, engineers, and just interested people say about it on the well-known resource Quora:
- Anand Padmanabhan (a worker at Elementz Engineers Guild Private Limited). According to him, there is no difference between the two brands. They are just two names for the same product in different parts of the world. The company is actually split into two large groups, Arduino.cc, and Arduino.org. Arduino.org was more about manufacturing, and Arduino.cc about product development and promotion. Arduino.cc owns the rights to the Arduino trademark in the US and Arduino.org in the rest of the world. So Arduino.cc sells boards outside of the US under the Genuino brand. Here is what happened: Arduino LLC is a company founded by Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, David Mellis, Tom Igoe, and Gianluca Martino in 2009, which gave us the software, design, support, etc. for Arduino boards. The boards were made by the sponsor company Smart Projects Srl. founded by the same Gianluca Martino. And everything was going fine. The problems started in November before last year when Martino and the new CEO Federico Musto renamed Smart Projects to Arduino Srl. and registered arduino.org. Whether or not this is an infringement will be decided in a Massachusetts court. In addition, one of the main reasons for the split can be considered that Banzi and the other three founders wanted to internationalize production, while Martino and Musto wanted to keep all production strictly in an Italian factory.
- Sandeep Patil (worked with AVRs, PICs, ARMs). Says that both trademarks are owned by Arduino.cc. In the US, it’s Arduino; in the rest of the world, it’s Genuino. And it was a controversy within the company that led to this.
- Kiran Panchal (an engineer at heart). He says that, apart from the name, the only difference between the boards is the color. You can verify this on the official website. There is absolutely no difference in the specification of the boards. So, when you want to buy the original blue board while you are somewhere in India and get it, you are most likely cheated. The only scenario in which you will get the original board is if the sellers still have the old boards from before the split.
- Gokul Periyasamy (amateur). It also claims that there are no differences. Genuino is a brand created by co-founders Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, Tom Igoe, and David Mellis for sales outside the United States. The Genuino brand is fully in line with the open-hardware and open-source philosophy that Arduino users have come to love.
- Niral Shah (amateur). Gave the shortest answer, “Nothing”. And he was attached to his words a screenshot of the main page of the official website.
You can also note the fact that the official website has a single description for both Arduino and Genuino boards.
Also, sometime after the controversy, Massimo Banzi, the head of Arduino LLC and the curator of the community formed around the project, announced the creation of the new Genuino brand.
By partnering with Adafruit in the United States and launching the Genuino subsidiary brand, Arduino.cc is trying to solve the production problems caused by the dispute.
The company for a long time refused to comment on the situation because of its legal nature, but it was necessary to look for a way out of the situation, and the executives made just such a decision.
After the agreement with Adafruit, board production was moved from Italy to the United States. The need for the new Genuino brand came about because of the agreement that distributors around the world signed with their former partners. The agreement stated that Arduino would not be allowed to buy boards from other manufacturers. And the true purpose of this agreement only came to light with the emergence of a dispute within the company. Instead of protecting itself and its customers from counterfeits made elsewhere, this agreement created onboard monopoly supplies. And this state of affairs didn’t suit Arduino.cc at all.
So, after understanding the situation a little bit, we see that there is no reason for the end customers to worry. We will get the same product, the same quality, but with a different name. Genuino and Arduino are completely identical, differing only by brand name. Since now, there is a strict separation of brands by geography.