— Digital Cameras
VALE the Flip - does anyone understand this move?
Cisco has announced that it will close down its Flip pocketcam business
In one of the most astonishing bits of news we've seen in a long time, the iconic Flip video camera was officially pronounced dead earlier this week. Cisco, which paid US$590 million for the business from Pure Digital just two years ago, has decided to kill the entire company. In an unprecedented scenario, the Flip has been killed outright while holding United States video camera sales market leadership (marginally ahead of Sony and roughly double the share of third-placed Kodak). Why Cisco didn't sell the brand rather than kill it is probably more to do with showing analysts it is serious about remedying its ailments, though if I were a shareholder, I'd be asking why some effort wasn't made to extract value from a market leading brand and retaining the jobs of hundreds of people. The good news is that the Flip 4GB Ultra HD is already down to US$130, which makes it a worthwhile buy if your phone doesn't yet shoot 1080p video.
This topic took more time in internal Gizmag editorial discussions this week than anything else. The Flip is still selling roughly one in four of all video camera sales in the United States of America – the world's largest single consumer electronics marketplace. Has a market leading brand ever been killed outright before? Not that anyone could think of! Surely there's some responsibility to shareholders to attempt to extract value from a brand with such recognition? What about all those jobs? Is any standalone product that can be duplicated in a multi-purpose smartphone doomed?
We're certainly in a time of enormous and disruptive change, but there MUST be more to this than meets the eye – the rise of the smartphone is not something that should have caught Cisco off guard – if it is, then throwing out a company it paid half a billion dollars for won't save them.
On a personal note, I owned and LOVED a Flip Ultra HD before it got stolen. It shot great video and loaded straight into my computer and could be uploaded to Youtube quickly and without fuss. I've been writing about technology for a third of a century and it was a product that genuinely stole a piece of my heart.
About the Author
Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.
All articles by Mike Hanlon
the yahoo\'s at CISCO could be just plain stupid which is a very good possibility, or they are creating a hole in the market to see who \'bits the bit\' and how the market reacts so they can analysis (i use the word loosely here) for \"stuff\" they have in the pipeline. Since most corporations have decimated there marketing dept\'s to sales only thinking-yahoos, they may think this is a better=cheaper way of obtaining market info instead of doing the R&D or maintain \'trained\' communications/marketing, branding pros to track the market and garner real time info :-) \'god-bless corporate thinking, its priceless and if i was a share holder (and i\'m not) i would be DEMANDING what the hell the strategy is here, really $590Million with a product that has top market share. :-(
Sanyo has a 1080p palm-sized video camera with way better audio that\'s streeting for $130 already, and others in the price range are already out or coming soon. As more and more people are shooting video with their smartphones and point-and-shoot still cameras that also support video, the investment to make Flip relevant and competitive would have probably been too high, even if they\'d been able to find someone to buy the brand.
George Van Wagner
CISCO CEO John Chamber should be fired for lacking of vision and leadership. Without the Internet bubble of 2000, CISCO would be dead by now.
Pretty biased article...
Who wants one of these when I can use my smartphone?
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