Cisco Discontinues Flip – What Are They Thinking?

flip camera

flip camera

Today, Cisco decided to nix the Flip line altogether. They fired 550 employees and stopped production of the popular video camera, just months after they introduced the highly anticipated Flip UltraHD with a dock for attachments.

Although I was completely floored when I heard this news, I wasn’t too surprised. Cisco is not really in the video capture area. It doesn’t fit their business model.

So why did they buy it for $590 million?

Why the Flip was Flopped

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

-John Chambers, CEO Cisco

Cisco was loosing big (18 percent in Q2 alone), so a re-org was necessary. Cisco will be making some major changes, like this one.

Why not Sell Flip?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to sell Flip to Kodak or Sony? Maybe even Apple, HTC, RIM or Motorola? I am not sure if they held any patents. In fact, there was an issue where the flip was under an infringement issue against Advanced Video Technologies.

Flip is Old, Smartphone Replaces

One thing to think about, with the introduction of the iPad2, you can record and edit video right on your tablet. An iPhone also has that ability. The newest iPhone should improve the front and rear cameras – not to mention the accelerometer can help with stabilization of HD video.

Blue Mic Mikey for Flip on Hold

Talked with Blue Mic today about their attachment for Flip – the Mikey (which you can get for iPod nano). They mentioned the Mikey is officially on hold until they can figure out what is happening.

It’s still sad to see a consumer device that is pretty popular get sidelined. Maybe it’s only inevitable since smartphones (as well as Digital SLR cameras) are getting better in video recording and come with programs to edit and publish.

There are still times where I would want a camera over a smartphone. There are also times I would want a $130 camera over a $700 DSLR. I wouldn’t take my smartphone or DSLR underwater.

If you are looking for a movie camera, you can still get a Kodak Playtouch, Sony Bloggie or Sanyo Xacti .