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Cisco kills off the Flip camcorder

David Ludlow
12 Apr 2011
Flip Video
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Says there's no future in the business

Flip Video mini camcorders were one of the surprise hits of the last few years, but now the brand is going almost as quickly as it appeared. In a shock announcement today, Cisco, the parent company of Flip Video, has announced that there will be no new models and the operation is being shut down completely.

Bought just two years ago for $590 million, Flip Video seemed like a strange departure for the networking company, which has no experience of the consumer market. It seems like it was a stretch too far, as well as being a costly failure - it's though that closing the division, as well as other company restructures, could cost as much as $300 million.

In many ways, the Flip was a victim of its own success. When it was first launched in 2006, the product allowed people to quickly shoot video, then use their computer to upload it to YouTube. There was nothing else quite like it and it has spawned many competitors.

One of the main threats has come from smartphones, such as the Apple iPhone 4. Not only can this shoot 720p video, but it also has basic editing built in and the ability to share directly from the handset. In other words, why carry two devices with you when one will do the job?

While all of these changes were being made, the Flip basically never really changed what it could do. The only real feature added in recent times was that the latest models, such as the Flip Ultra HD 3rd Gen had a FlipPort for accessories; sadly, few accessories were ever released.

Cisco has said that it will support current FlipShare (the video editing software) customers with a "transition plan". No mention of what this plan is has been mentioned so far. While we can understand Cisco's reasons for getting rid of Flip Video, it's still sad to see it go.

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