Flip Video Camera Failure Blamed on Smartphone Success
Say farewell to the Flip pocket camcorder. Just two years after buying the maker of the Flip, Pure Digital Technology, Cisco announced it is shutting down its consumer businesses, including the one-time darling of the tech world, the Flip video camera.
Dubbed a disruptive technology when it first debuted in 2006, the Flip was the first easy-to-use, affordably priced digital camcorder that delighted consumers with hundreds of decorative options and later its HD capability. At under $200, it created a personal tech category of its own that was imitated by Polaroid, Sony and Kodak.
Even the newest version of the Flip, the FlipSlide HD with its widescreen display for instant video viewing launched about a year ago, couldn't trump the growing competition from big-screen- HD-capable smartphones. Last summer, HD video arrived on the iPhone 4, the Samsung Galaxy S and the Droid Incredible.
"Why buy two or even three devices when one will do?" Michael Schoenfeld, professional commercial photographer, said. "Pocket real estate is precious."
"The Flip was a one-trick wonder and now it's done," Schoenfeld told TechNewsDaily.
The iPhone and its HD smartphone counterparts render compact camcorders obsolete and the pocket camer a might not be far behind.
The shuttering of Flip cam operations will mean the loss of about 550 jobs and about $300 million spent across the first half of Cisco's fiscal year, the company said in a statement.
Though Cisco will stop producing the Flip camera, it will still support its members-only FlipShare video-sharing services "with a transition plan," Cisco said, not offering further details.
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