Flip Video, the company that made it easy for kids and morons to film and publish YouTube videos of people falling down, will soon be no more. As part of Cisco's consumer-focus initiative a few years back, they purchased the then-popular video camera maker to have another major consumer-facing brand, in addition to its popular Linksys home networking products. They have proven over the past 3 years that they do not quite understand consumer products and they now know that.
As part of a corporate revamp, the customer-facing brands will be phased out or re-evaluated. No evaluation is needed for Flip, apparently, as Cisco has already decided to end the brand. With the popularity of smartphones rising for average consumers, added to the fact that smartphone cameras are now about as powerful as the Flip, it is no surprise that the division saw a marked decline. In an industry it once led, it saw itself fall from the top spot to the likes of Sony and their Bloggie, which is essentially the same product.
Is this a loss for the market or is this for the best? Hit the break to find out my opinion.
I think this is good for almost everyone involved. I never thought the Flip was a truly long-term viable product. It had a single focus - the lack of a losable cable, and a few major downfalls, like an easily breakable embedded USB connection. The company also missed the fact that people would like to be able to add memory to their devices and, like Apple, used permanent internal storage. Brilliant move for a device that eats memory at astounding rates. In true HD, a video camera consumer 2GB for every 16 minutes of video. That is 8GB per hour, an easy amount to blow through at, say, a wedding plus reception. You really have to pick your moments carefully, or bring a laptop with you.
In addition to losing the Flip brand, there will also be 550 jobs cut, assumedly in the consumer devision, likely a lot from the Flip brand. Not unexpected from a company who has seen a 34 percent decline in their stock price. Profit margins are down, stock prices are down and a market they never were good at is going the way of the dinosaur - this was merely a matter of time.
Cisco CEO, John Chambers, said, "You will see Cisco make a number of targeted moves in the coming weeks." My guess is we will see a revamp in the Linksys brand and a large refocusing on their actual business - corporate networking products.