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Cisco Ditches Flip and $590 Million 121

Posted by timothy
from the but-they're-cool-little-devices dept.
darthcamaro writes "Remember the Flip? When Pure Digital Technology first came out with the device it was one of the hottest gadgets, providing users with an ultra-portable camcorder. Then Cisco came along and bought the Flip for $590 million in 2009. Now less than two years later, Cisco is throwing the money, 550 employees and the Flip out the door." Wired has an analysis of why Flip floundered. I hope this means I can find a AA-powered Flip UltraHD for $50 in a clearance bin.
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Cisco Ditches Flip and $590 Million

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  • by wubboy (96276) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @07:19PM (#35801192)

    I cannot be the only person here who thinks maybe that the company problem is that I was never aware of them?

  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @07:22PM (#35801230) Journal
    The article asserts that smart phones recorded just as well, making the Flip redundant. I go a step further and postulate that smartphones are frankly more convenient. I don't always grab my camcorder when I'm heading out the door just in case I see something awesome and film worthy on my way to work. But I absolutely have to have my cell phone. I do not leave home without it. And hey, if I happen to need to capture a few minutes of video on my phone, I have a 16 gig SSID chip in it AND I can just email the darn thing to myself and have it posted on YouTube or Twitter within ten minutes because of my data plan (something that even a wi-fi connected Flip phone couldn't do most places.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @07:27PM (#35801308)

    No, because it's already in the headline of the Wired article.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @07:39PM (#35801448) Journal
    Flip's chances certainly weren't helped by the fact that, on the one hand, point and shoots with substantially more competent optics have been creeping down in price and creeping up in video capability, and on the other, smartphones(while substantially more expensive) are increasingly seen as a default, and so offer almost as good video recording for "free".

    However, it really doesn't help that Cisco did surprisingly little with the company after they acquired it, and some of what they did do was questionable. The 'Slide' model was rather pitiful, their experiments in replacing the simple tried and true physical buttons with (lousy) touchscreens were failures, and they stuck with a price tag that was always hovering dangerously close to more capable devices. Other than a few incremental spec bumps there was almost no development of the product line for two years.
  • by Ruke (857276) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @07:52PM (#35801618)
    Cisco doesn't need to sell Flips in order for the purchase to be profitable. It's highly probably that they purchased Pure Digital in order to strengthen their patent portfolio. If the iPhone or Android devices make use of some inane portable-video technology that Pure Digital patented in designing the flip, it's possible for Cisco to make back their money in licensing agreements with other hardware manufacturers.
  • by itzdandy (183397) <dandenson@NOspAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @09:41PM (#35802578) Homepage

    1/2 Billion is a LOT of router and switch sales to make up.

  • good riddance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spectro (80839) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @11:49PM (#35803560) Homepage

    TFA missed a very important reason: no SD expansion slot.

    Every single time I saw them on a store first thing I did was check if there was a way to expand memory with SD card. Nope?... well, ain't buying it then.

  • by Paradise Pete (33184) on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @12:02AM (#35803626) Journal

    Cisco still wins in the long run. As long as the Flip and the insane marketing hype surrounding it increased the popularity of HD video sharing on the web

    Why does Cisco buying them have anything to do with that? The product was a huge hit before they bought it. Cisco owning it didn't add anything.

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