The Flip is Dead, Long Live the Whatever is Replacing the Flip

Cisco bought Pure Digital Technology Inc., the makers of the Flip in 2009 for $590 million. Today, barely two years later, Cisco has announced that they’ll be discontinuing the Flip citing competition from smartphones (read iPhone 4), which also shoot in 720p HD.

I bought a Flip camera a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it. Great HD video quality, decent sound, extremely portable and very user-friendly software to save, edit and share your videos. The Flip may have been ahead of its time but it didn’t take long for it to make it past its prime and become nearly irrelevant.

Cisco CEO John Chambers posted a message to employees on the company’s blog and admitted that the company has been behind the curve in keeping up with market innovations.

“We are making key, targeted moves as we align operations in support of our network-centric platform strategy,” said John Chambers, Cisco’s chief executive, in a statement. “As we move forward, our consumer efforts will focus on how we help our enterprise and service provider customers optimize and expand their offerings for consumers, and help ensure the network’s ability to deliver on those offerings.”

As I’ve said, our strategy is sound. It is aspects of our operational execution that are not. We have been slow to make decisions, we have had surprises where we should not, and we have lost the accountability that has been a hallmark of our ability to execute consistently for our customers and our shareholders. That is unacceptable. And it is exactly what we will attack.

On an everyday basis I do find myself using my iPhone for video recording just because it is handy and I always have it on me but it seems like there still should be room in the market for a great HD camera like the Flip. If I’m going on vacation or something there are many places I would take the Flip and use it where I wouldn’t want to risk my iPhone. The Flip is much easier to hold onto and has a much sturdier build. I certainly hope that they continue to support software upgrades for the Flip for the foreseeable future.

If Cisco could find a way to lower the price point on the Flip HD it would make a perfect carry along for family vacations, picnics, wherever you want to get some great shots, but don’t want to risk getting chicken grease on your iPhone.

That being said, my Flip is in near mint condition and I will be selling it on eBay later today with a starting bid of $500,000 (since it’s soon to be a collector’s item I presume).

Flip HD vs. iPhone 4


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