In which I interview the new guy at Cherry Americas, Chad Vendette, via email. Chad is the Director of Marketing and offered to answer some questions about the company and where it’s heading. We cover the difference between Cherry America and its German counterpart, Cherry’s new lowpro switches, mechs in spaces other than gaming or the office, and more. This interview has been lightly edited to minimize the market-speak. Don’t hate on Chad, though, it’s literally his job to do that.
Keychatter: Can you explain the difference(s), practically speaking, between Cherry Americas and Cherry DE? It seems like Cherry US is more on the business side and Cherry DE is more focused on
Chad Vendette: Cherry is a global corporation that functions as a single entity. However, each geographic business unit has a specific focus on markets in which they are best suited to serve. Cherry
provides our full range of products worldwide. Cherry Americas provides much of the same
product line to the North American Market, including Canada and Latin America. The only
exception is Cherry HQ manages Cherry MX switches in all geographic areas. Other than that
distinction, the company operates as a unified global entity.
KC: What are your plans for Cherry’s future in the U.S.?
CV: Cherry Americas is focused on providing an expanded portfolio of new products in the North
American Market. Within the next several quarters, we will be launching innovative new
products into our marketplace, some of which Cherry has not previously offered in this segment.
This expanded portfolio will place Cherry Americas in a new role as a technology solutions
provider in the office desktop workspace.
KC: How do you see Cherry’s new low profile switches fitting into the non-gaming market(s)?
CV: Cherry’s low-profile switches are excellent for the growing trends towards laptops and desktop
keyboards. They offer a distinct mechanical feel yet still provide the low profile of keyboards
made with a rubber dome membrane. And, as always, Cherry’s unmistakable keystroke feel is
built into every switch we sell. Office desktop workspaces are hungry for mechanical-feel
KC: Does Cherry plan to make its own keyboards with the lowpro switches onboard, or will they only be on other OEM’s boards?
CV: Cherry is undergoing several new product developments phases, and although we can’t comment
on unannounced products, we can say that we are confident in our product roadmap, including
lowpro switch offerings.
KC: Enthusiasm for mechanical keyboards has exploded in recent years. Many people are
bringing mechs to work to replace their rubber dome keyboards. Are you seeing a knock-on
demand in the B2B (etc.) sector for more mechanical-switch keyboards?
CV: Yes, the mechanical keyswitch demand in the B2B space is booming. Cherry is uniquely positioned to engage into filling that demand for our customers. Our brand name is trusted […]
KC: The needs/wants of gamers and office typers are often significantly different than those of people
in workplaces like industrial environments and hospitals. Although our readers are generally
well-versed in mechanical switch technology, what are some of the innovations and technologies
Cherry has implemented on keyboards so they last forever in those harsher environments?
CV: Cherry has developed mission-specific keyboards and mice for the industrial and healthcare
markets. Our extensive research in working with this important market segment taught us how to
create durable, reliable, and trustworthy keyboards.
For example, the industrial market needs a keyboard that can handle abuse such as dropping and high levels of dust or airborne material and keep working. The healthcare market, on the other hand, needs to be easy to clean and resistant to liquids while still maintaining accurate input.
KC: I think a big question a lot of people have is why there are so many membrane Cherry keyboards
in B2B. POS, healthcare, etc. are places where ostensibly keyboards need to last forever. Why
not use mechanical switches?
CV: Our customers might dispute the notion that our switches “don’t last forever.” Cherry has been
making switches since 1953 when Walter Cherry started the company. That same dedication to
quality and reliability that Walter instilled in the company exists today, perhaps even more so as
Cherry continues to innovate and evolve. Plus, we are confident our membrane keyboards are
suited for these market segments, as they are engineered for more than ten million keystroke
actuations per key.
KC: What other new products does Cherry have coming soon?
CV: We have some new and innovative products on the horizon that will open up new avenues for us and thrill our customers. You’ll see them soon, so stay tuned!