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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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  • ...that the Flip was a flop?

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

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

    • by lostchicken (226656) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @07:37PM (#35802086)

      The brilliance of this is that even if the Flip itself flops, 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, people are going to need more routers in the network itself. I wonder who the ISPs and YouTubes of the world will be going to then...

      Cisco never needed to sell the Flip as a physical product, they just needed to sell the idea of shooting LOTS of video and sharing it across the web. It seems like they've succeeded.

      • by itzdandy (183397) <dandensonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @08:41PM (#35802578) Homepage

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

        • It's about 1000 core routers. Granted, that's a lot, certainly more then Google adds in a year or two (they use Juniper anyway), but it's not a LOT or even a hard number to imagine. I'm not sure what Cisco's margins are though, so while it's list price for a thousand core routers, I'm sure they'll have to sell several tens of thousands to make up the half billion they blew. -W
        • by Andy Dodd (701)

          I don't think they threw away the entire 590 mill here.

          For example, they might have obtained some valuable patent assets.

          • by itzdandy (183397)

            from my googling, there really wasnt anything at all. The flip was not unique and had no unique technology in it. it was a standard camera turned sideways with a stylized case. Canon and Nikon had similar features at the time in a very similar form factor except that they had a much lower frame rate on the video.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Paradise Pete (33184)

        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.

      • by guruevi (827432)

        Most likely they will go to Juniper, Foundry Networks and them (the ones specializing in ISP-size network gear) or HP and Netgear for their datacenters (Google supposedly builds their own switches but why spend $5,000 on a gigabit switch if $1,500 will do). Cisco is imho overpriced, has major licensing issues and doesn't deliver on their promises of either product or support but still tries to sell you their whole product line for each problem. Cisco is the Microsoft of network equipment - all the bigwigs h

        • by cusco (717999)
          You should see their security video solution. Yikes. A bunch of programmers got together and said, "Well, we don't know anything about security video, but since we work at Cisco we won't ask anyone in the security industry how they want it to work. We'll just do whatever the hell we want and people will buy it anyway." Our salescritters sold two of them (against my strident objections), and since both customers were **SO** unhappy we've never recommended it since.
  • by wubboy (96276) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @06:19PM (#35801192)

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

    • Probably. Unless you were planning on buying a few thousand of them a month. Many people were aware of them (as the were quite popular in their heyday). But if smart phones and digital cameras can also take movies that are just as good, why buy a dedicated, mediocre, video camera?
      • by LUH 3418 (1429407)
        Erm. I wouldn't call them "mediocre". I own a 14MP Sony digital camera, as well as a Flip Mino HD. Both do 720p video, but the video quality on the Flip Mino is much better. I seriously doubt most smartphones could even remotely compete. The thing can take pretty good video both in near darkness and in very loud environments. I've used it to take clips in nightclubs which came out quite good. I routinely use it to film my video blogs and have few complaints (although it does have some design flaws).

        I thi
    • In Chicago, they had a really cheesy advertising campaign that had adverts plastered all over CTA trains and stations for at least 6 months, probably a year. They should have taken all that advertising money and pooled it into some good interaction designers for an interface reboot. Besides, if it can't connect to the web, who cares about it. I remember seeing the adverts and predicting a massive failure, but I can't say I'm glad to see $600,000,000 wasted.

      • In Chicago, they had a really cheesy advertising campaign that had adverts plastered all over CTA trains and stations ...

        So the target demographic for the product was riders of public transit?

        • by cduffy (652)

          It's a cheap camera, not a high-end one.

          That said -- I see a lot of people in suits on the train from Lakeway into downtown Austin around the 9am and 5pm runs. Maybe you should rethink that whole public transit stigma thing.

          • The less I made, the better I dressed. Actually, I guess it was more like a bell curve if you count the McD's job. But, when I was making $8.11/hr way back in the day, I wore fancy silk ties and a silver tie clip and rarely had $20 in my pocket the day before payday.

            • by cduffy (652)

              Fair 'nuff. Given as Lakeway isn't exactly a cheap place to live (median household income $86K), I doubt that's the mechanic at work here.

              • by cduffy (652)

                Fair 'nuff. Given as Lakeway isn't exactly a cheap place to live (median household income $86K), I doubt that's the mechanic at work here.

                Ugh -- I had "that stop beyond the furthest I ever go" wrong; it's Lakeline, not Lakeway. Still not the slums by any means, but not at all the same demographic.

        • Did you see the video of Anderson Cooper being attacked in Egypt? He's carrying a Flip camera in his hand. I think much of the grainy video you saw from that time was from Flip cameras. They are very discrete - much more so than any other sort of HD camera - and don't require you to have your smart phone with all your contacts, notes, personal information, etc., out in your hand where it can be grabbed by a passer by.

      • by AvitarX (172628)

        Still not as braindead as umi.

        A device that could be replaced by skype and a 50 webcam (ok, so that's not as premium, but it is good enogh).

        Now the stupid part, if you choose our product, you'll get to pay $25/month for access to less people.

        This means, to talk to a relative or a friend, you are looking at $50/month, and these are people that already have internet (and therefor presumably compters). I have seen some real computer illiterates figure out skype, so I don't think they even have ease of use goin

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        Besides, if it can't connect to the web, who cares about it.

        People who just want adequate quality home video of their kids, family, holidays, pets and so on, and don't intend to share it with the whole fucking world on bastard Facebook?

    • by Tackhead (54550) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @06:57PM (#35801680)
      They started as Pure Digital [slashdot.org], a company that made a solid-state battery-operated "disposable" camera (20 minutes, 128 MB flash), and camcorder, both of which were eventually hacked. The business model was that you'd pay CVS $20-30 for the camera, fill it with 20 minutes of video, and return it for "processing", where CVS would use a device with a proprietary USB connector and software that knew what key to use to handshake to the device to extract the video, burn it to CD for you, wipe the camera, and put it back on the shelf. (much like a "disposable" film camera.)

      The company was understandably miffed about having people going into their local drugstore and buying what would have been a $50-100 gadget for $30. Pretty neat devices. Very lightweight, and rugged as hell. At $30, perfect for strapping onto balloons, kites, and model rockets.

      Miffed [i-hacked.com] as they were about the disruption of the business model, they actually didn't get overly litigious about it. They didn't have much of a legal leg to stand on, so they basically asked really really nicely for people to stop, while updating their single-use devices to be a little harder to hack. (It took the community a couple of years to crack the newer firmware, and by that time, the devices, even at $30, were obsolescent.)

      The "reusable video camcorder that offers 2-3 times the quality, a zoom lens, and 30 minutes of storage" version of the single-use device became the series known as the Flip. The Flip was an unencumbered version of the grocery store disposable units, featuring more storage and higher resolution, and even at retail prices, if you needed something rugged, lightweight, cheap to power, and still cheap enough that it's not the end of the world if the rocket gets stuck in a tree or your RC aircraft faceplants into the dirt, it was still pretty good value for the money.

      • The business model was that you'd pay CVS $20-30 for the camera, fill it with 20 minutes of video, and return it for "processing", where CVS would use a device with a proprietary USB connector and software that knew what key to use to handshake to the device to extract the video, burn it to CD for you, wipe the camera, and put it back on the shelf. (much like a "disposable" film camera.)

        Okay, to me this just sounds like a business plan waiting to fail. If the marketing dept (or whatever dept that comes up w

        • There's two reasons one hour photos are virtually non-existent anymore...

          What are you talking about? Every CVS, Walgreens, Kinkos, Walmart, etc., has photo printing. You take in a memory card rather than film, but it's the same business model and for the same reason: most people don't find it worth the bother and expense to have print making capability (whether that be a darkroom or a photo printer) at home.

          • by npsimons (32752) *

            What are you talking about? Every CVS, Walgreens, Kinkos, Walmart, etc., has photo printing. You take in a memory card rather than film, but it's the same business model and for the same reason: most people don't find it worth the bother and expense to have print making capability (whether that be a darkroom or a photo printer) at home.

            That's not quite the same; for one, how many digital printing centers require staff? Heck, I've seen some where you can pay directly at the terminal. For another, even counti

        • by BillX (307153) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:37PM (#35803462) Homepage

          It's worse than that [forumer.com]... the MBAs must have paid the engineers peanuts and lit a blowtorch under their asses to ship it, because the "security" on these was laughable (the one thing they had going for them was a Funny Plug(tm) that wouldn't fit a standard USB cable); it took several revisions before the software security measures presented so much as a speed bump. How do I hack thee? Let me recount thy ways...

          1) The camcorders used a 128 BYTE(!) challenge/response system to unlock the device over USB. But the first-gen units used the SAME keypair for every device! So extract the key from one, unlock them all.

          2) The key could be extracted by desoldering and reading the Flash chip, or... just asking the device nicely! The challenge key and expected response were stored consecutively in memory; you would request the challenge key in 4-byte(?) chunks, and after the 32nd chunk, respond with 32 chunks of response key. But if you instead just kept requesting chunks after the 32nd, it would GIVE you the response key.

          3) Eventually they fixed this. But there was still a backdoor / "default" key, leading to the very popular "battery drop" method of unlocking cams. The response key and other housekeeping data were stored in an NVRAM area (actually IIRC just a file called nvram.dat) - if the camera ever failed to boot, it assumed it was a crash due to corrupted NVRAM and replaced it with a known default copy. Letting the batteries drop out about a second after hitting the power switch would replace the response key with a "key" consisting of the imager manufacturer's name spelled backward and then forward.

          Eventually (being IIRC a couple *years*) they fixed all of these. You could still do it by shorting pins on the Flash or erasing part of it via external hardware, but the easy point-and-click software hacks were shored up. There was still debate as to whether the keys were algorithmically related to one another or one-time-pad random. Until...

          4) Somebody discovered PD left details (possibly code) of the keygen algorithm on their anonymous FTP server! It was pulled before I got a chance to see it ;-) but it was enough information that somebody wrote a tool to bruteforce a master key of some sort, which took a few computers about a week or 2. With the master key found, hackers just updated the GUI software to generate proper response keys, prompting PD to release the "please grant us a Mulligan" letter linked by the GP.

        • by Rakishi (759894)

          And this is why the MBAs are raking it in and you're not. After all, their scheme worked well enough for the company to survive for many years and eventually led to a $500 million sale.

    • by brit74 (831798)
      Maybe you need to look around a little more. For example, look at the camcorder section of Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/photo/172421). Flip currently has the #2 best selling camcorder at Amazon, plus they hold another 6 spots in the top 20.
  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @06:22PM (#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.)
    • I keep my FlipHD in my computer bag anyway...

      I figure I never know when I'll need a couple hours of HD footage.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Plus, given your work with the Phoenix Foundation, you never know when you might need a few batteries, a video camera, and a small LED display to create a remote drone, or a listening device, or an electronic lockpick, or ...

      • by Alamais (4180)
        Um, yeah!...in case of Cloverfield?
    • by Zan Lynx (87672)

      Smart phones do a lot more but they're hardly more convenient.

      If you want to record with a Flip you press the power button then the record button and it's recording. That's it.

      If you want to record with a smartphone you first press the wake up button, enter the password (because if you don't have a password, frankly you're stupid and deserve all the crap your Facebook/blog/email/IM/whatever will get from "friends"), find the right application, launch it and wait for it to come up. Then press Record.

      With the

    • by nytmare (572906)

      So what do you pay for this convenience, like $1000 a year? No thanks.

  • Ive seen videos shot from newer flips in low lighting that cell phone cameras and cheap flip knock off's just show as black. I never had one mainly because of no zoom, for kids messing around in the room and doing skateboarding tricks they were great. They should have figured that it would only take a few months for the market to be flooded with lower cost clones.
  • But I bought a Kodak Zi-6, which I'm still using. External memory and runs on two AA batteries. Flip was all self contained and not all that interesting, considering the limitations.

    • by jjbenz (581536)
      agreed, i bought a Zi-6 for a trip to NYC and it worked great. I didn't like the no removable storage and lack of easy battery replacement in the flip.
      • by Amouth (879122)

        the Flip battery pack can be pulled out and you can either use 2 AA's or 3 AAA's depending on the model. that was one of the selling points for me.

        The main selling point for me as i was getting it for my wife - is that the flip is extremely simple to use - and has very good optics even in low light - and requires no user intervention to get a good video. All she does is hit the power button and the big red button - hell my 1 year can use it.

  • by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @06:26PM (#35801274)

    I was in the market for a small portable video camera when we had a baby on the way and was looking at the Flip. Then the iPhone 4 came out with HD recording and I got that instead and I'm glad I did, the video and photo's I shot with it are great for my purposes and it's always there in my pocket. They released a single purpose device just when multi-purpose ones were catching up on their area of expertise. Though break.

  • As an owner of a flip, they only recorded; no pictures, no stop-motion available.
  • This is (slightly) offtopic, but I'll take the hit. It seems strange to me that digital still cameras and DSLR cameras don't offer webcam functions, at least I haven't found any that do. Thy typical have a much better sensor, lens and optical zoom than any dedicated webcam; can record high resolution video and connect as a USB device. So why is a USB webcam mode not incorporated?

    • by firex726 (1188453)

      Same here...

      I got both a 10mp Still and full HD Camcorder, yet for a webcam I'm stuck with a grainy 1.3mp webcam.

    • by youngone (975102)
      I've got a Canon EOS 550d DSLR camera, and I'm pretty sure it has got a web cam sort of function in the software somewhere.
    • So why is a USB webcam mode not incorporated?

      Because that costs money and doesn't make any sense. In the $100-$300 P&S market, adding cost to your device to compete against $20 webcams puts you a competitive disadvantage in seriously cutthroat segment of the market. In the $300-600 P&S/Compact market, you could probably put such a mode in and get away with it... but who is going to buy it? That's the entry level for the serious photographer and videographer. Above that, in the compact/SLR range

    • Guesses:

      1. You need an external power supply.
      2. Most web cameras are modest in their data requirements. Can you imagine how much your ISP would love you if you had an HD camera on your bird feeder?

      It is an interesting point, however. Many cameras can be used in 'teathered' mode where a computer pulls data off the camera as fast as it's generated. My DSLR doesn't do video, so I don't know if tethered video is a possibility.

  • by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @06:35PM (#35801410)
    It's possible Flip was profitable for some or all of that 2 years, so not all the $590e6 was a loss.

    I like how the Wired article calls its appearance "retro." I blame it on the click-wheel-inspired design. Man I hate the clickwheel, and always did. It's still polluting the design of non-Apple mp3 players to this day. Please, please give us real clickable buttons, far enough apart to operate through a jacket pocket.

    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      I like real clickable buttons for many things, but for things like volume or scanning through a long list, the click wheel is really usable..

      plus, at least my 5G iPod still has buttons for next/previous below the edges of the click wheel.

  • Cisco bought TGV which made the best TCP stack for Win 3.x and which was making a fast stack for 95, then turned them into a cable modem lab... hmm, OK.

    • by Ruke (857276) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @06:52PM (#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 fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @06:39PM (#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.
    • A guy has an idea of what he can commit the resources he commands to. The company spends a shitload of money to do so. A new guy comes in or a superior decides it's time to assert dominance. They have to make their mark to show they are going to do something different. The easiest way is to cancel what the first guy did which has the advantage that it also robs them of a success. The actual idea or implementation is irrelevent.
      That's the sort of bullshit we are training our MBAs to do - teaching them t
  • Nobody wants video conferencing... Heck people don't even want to *speak* to each other. There is no mass market in it...EVER... Every company who tries fails...

    And people are not stupid... if they want video conferencing they'll buy a $60 web cam and use skype or MSN for free...

    The mass market will NOT accept hundreds of dollars on hardware and recurring fees to use a service that does not need to exist on top of that.

    Who wants to pay monthly for the priv

  • I was watching QVC this weekend and they were selling Flips (in a bundle with a at-home media streamer device) for a sale price of $150, down from $250 . Someone is trying to dump lots of product line.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Flips were durable as hell. I gave one to my 10 year son a one and over the years it has twice spent 1+ weeks in the yard in rain and snow and both times it started right up no problem. Not bad and absolutely perfect for a kid into making movies.

  • pointless (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @06:57PM (#35801684)
    My department got one of these as a "Free gift" from one of our vendors. I opened the box, had no idea what it was... it actually took me a good 10min to figure it out on the internet. Then I saw the price was $200 or so... My coworkers and I sat around staring at it wondering why on earth anyone would want one. It's NOT a camcorder, doesn't record video nearly as well, but costs about the same. It's not a smartphone... or even a PDA. The USB plug "Flipped" out giving the device its name... but it was part of the hardware. When you plugged it into the computer you had this giant device hanging off your USB port. If you had any sort of mass-produced workstation like we all had at work, it was nearly impossible to actually plug the stupid thing in because the plug wasn't flexible and our USB ports were about an 1/8" off our desks.

    I'm not sure why CISCO bought them, I'm hoping for some codec or patent rights or something. Otherwise that product was a total failure.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by es79 (2039900)
      I've been sitting here looking at my Flip for about 10 minutes trying to figure out what exactly took more than 30 seconds to figure out.
  • I can't defend this product. I can't justify it's existence. I can't possible fathom the price of the company or the product.

    Even MS kin had more going for it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I almost got my wife a Flip this past Christmas as a more convenient way to take videos of our 2yr old without having to haul around a full fledged camcorder. I ended up getting her the Kodak Playsport instead. It was less expensive (think I paid about $120), it is waterproof (major plus since little ones have a tendency to spill things), and the reviews were better. The wife loves it, and the 1080p videos are MUCH, MUCH better than what either of our phones can do (even on the highest setting). The only

  • and this makes sense. When they were getting acquired they were dumping tons of cash into looking like the hot shit for cisco, but I think they all knew the concept would get eaten alive by convergence. The mood I felt was, lets sell this to Cisco before they catch on that this market is doomed.

  • I've used one of these and I wasn't sure what to make of it. It's supposed to be a camcorder but it doesn't pick up audio very well unless the source is near the device. So then you think it would be good for video blogging on the go, but models don't have a screen to see if you're in frame. Some say smartphones did in the Flip, but when it first came out, cheap digital cameras were already able to do what the Flip did and more (and with better quality), in addition to being expandable with SD card memory.
    • Some say smartphones did in the Flip, but when it first came out, cheap digital cameras were already able to do what the Flip did and more (and with better quality), in addition to being expandable with SD card memory.

      I'm not sure that is exactly true. My 2007 vintage P&S did have better optics, including optical zoom, but video was stored inefficiently and for limited duration as motion JPEG. That meant there was some advantage to using the Flip for longer but less demanding video. Pretty weak market position though, and it's totally gone now. Current P&S cameras record H.264

  • of course not.
    the ceo will, after wasting 600 million or so of the shareholders money on a flashy product with no future, will get a bonus for shutting it down.
    the shareholders put up with it, they deserve what they get.
  • Bugger, this is the first time I've backed an unsuccessful technology since I bought a DAT recorder in 1992. Still, it'll keep working for me. The Flip has surprisingly excellent picture quality, good storage time (I have the 16GB Mino model with 2 hours capacity) and is super easy to use and integrate with other things - laptop, AV system, etc. Sad to see it now considered a 'flop'.
  • by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @09:06PM (#35802766) Homepage

    From Cisco's FAQ [cisco.com] about the acquisition:

    Q. How will Pure Digital’s products be sold and serviced?
    A:
    For the time being, Pure Digital will continue to sell their product as they do today, on the web, via retail stores and through on-line retailers. Together Cisco and Pure Digital will work to expand sales opportunities for these exciting products.

    Q. How will Cisco and Pure Digital customers be affected by the acquisition?
    A:
    Cisco often acquires companies that can accelerate the development of a product, technology or platform. With Pure Digital, Cisco acquires consumer-friendly video products and technology, as well as a brand with mass-market appeal. Pure Digital customers will continue to receive the same great products and technology they are accustomed to receiving and will experience no negative impact in terms of features or service.

    So much for truth in marketing.

  • by thebra (707939)
    But now what is woot.com going to sell?
  • I've not seen anyone here talking about Cisco's CORE products: Switches and routers.

    Right now, Cisco is seriously missing on 10G networking. Their products suck ass compared with Juniper and Arista. Others have really great stuff out there too right now (Brocade, Extreme, Force 10).

    They totally bailed out of Infiniband because their products were poop. It's a small market, but we use it here because of HPC.

    The simple fact is that shortly after when Cisco shipped their 3750-E switches Juniper shipped th

    • by pnutjam (523990)
      I dumped ASA in favor of pfsense years ago. Why pay that much for something that really sucks to work on?
  • Big corporation buys innovative, useful device, fucks it up. Something that could develop into something great, gets bogged down in development in corporate machine.

    capitalism doesnt solve any issues of organization size. it just rationalizes them.
  • good riddance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spectro (80839) on Tuesday April 12, 2011 @10:49PM (#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.

  • The device lacked basic camcorder features - like an optical zoom. It didn't do anything that my camera phone can do - so why would I buy it? In the meantime, I have shelled out money for a smartphone, a decent near-SLR still camera, and an HD Camcorder with a good optical zoom, image stabilization,etc. There is no place in my closet for a Flip.
  • I think I'll carry around a single use device that does not cost me $30 a month, thank you very much.
  • This niche has already been taken over by GoPro Video Cams [gopro.com]. (I don't work for them and don't own one.) These things were all over the slopes this winter. I saw a lot of them attached to the end of ski poles being used to shoot both the owner and other boarders or skiers. Shooting Junior doing something cute in the house is fine with your smart phone, but out in the real, messy world, I want something a bit more rugged and waterproof. A hundred bucks for the SD model, and $180 for the HD version. Add a
  • I remember an interview from a manager saying that Flip's strong point was "ease of use", and then he proudly added that the new Flip would be HD.
    But .. it was still missing motion compensation! A feature which would improve the videos while keeping the "ease of use".

    HD improves the videos too, sure, but it isn't easy to use: it has the side effect of making the vidoes more difficult to share and to more difficult to edit (need a more powerful PC), that's when I realised that they didn't capitalize on their

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