updated 09:30 am EDT, Tue April 12, 2011
Cisco kills Flip camera line
Cisco today axed its Flip camera division in a bid to bring the company back into shape. The company provided few details but said its new "network-centric platform strategy" meant the former Pure Digital group had to be closed. Those on the FlipShare service would be supported through a "transition plan," though Cisco didn't say what that was.
The shift would also involve tuning the home network business, such as the Linksys routers, to push "greater profitability" and tie into Cisco's core network hardware. The Umi video chat system would fold into its business telepresence group rather than sell to the home.
Cisco didn't say why it wasn't trying to sell the business instead of drop it completely.
The move marks an end to the brief five-year history of the Flip. The first model was launched by Pure Digital in 2006 as a way of providing simple digital video recording without the high prices or complexity of having to own a full camcorder. Its popularity grew enough that Cisco bought Pure Digital in 2009 and began expanding the line itself.
Flip is still relatively healthy but has become increasingly redundant with the rise of mobile photography. Many smartphones, and even MP3 players like the fourth-generation iPod touch, can record in 720p with similar or better video quality and with more features. Without an Internet connection, it also couldn't upload directly and still had to be tied to a computer.