Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cisco flips off Flip fans

Cisco Systems shocked fans of the Flip pocket camcorder Tuesday when it announced that it is shutting down the business.
Cisco acquired Flip two years ago when it purchased Pure Digital Technology for $590 million. The consumer electronics company was never a good fit for Cisco, which makes networking gear. But the Flip is a well known product and still the best-selling camcorder in the U.S.
The biggest surprise from the announcement was that Cisco is simply closing down the business and not trying to sell it. The message is that Cisco thinks the business is worth next to nothing now.
Smartphones with video recording capabilities are replacing standalone camcorders. But not everyone owns a smartphone with a video camera. And a good percentage of people probably prefer to use a dedicated camcorder with higher quality video and audio.
I own a couple of Flip camcorders and enjoy using them. I'm sad to see the product go bye-bye. Others, like Kara Swisher at All Things Digital and Om Malik of GigaOM, seem to agree.

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