But Illumina is offering to upgrade its present customers to the HiSeq 2500 for the fairly low cost of $50,000, so there may be little incentive for them to invest in a new Ion Proton machine, especially because they already know that Illumina’s technology is highly accurate and because the sequencing business has already been hit by the present climate of fiscal austerity. Life Technologies also appears to have annoyed some of its present customers by announcing the debut of a new device barely a year after releasing the Personal Genome Machine: "Was it really a wise move to announce a PGM-killer so early into this [machine's] life?" asks Nick Loman at the blog Pathogens: Genes and Genomes.
Nonetheless, in the Ion Torrent platform, Life Technologies has finally found a way to give Illumina a run for its money in a way that no other company has to date, and the competition can only be a win for customers. With a slew of other sequencing technologies in various stages of development, these announcements kick off what should be another exciting year for new sequencing technologies.
This blog post is reproduced with permission from the magazine Nature. The post was first published on January 10, 2012.