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(Wall Street Journal)   Cisco kills pioneering digital camcorder Flip, citing rise of smartphones. In other news, the world discovered Cisco had still been making faddish digital camcorders that no one was buying   (blogs.wsj.com) divider line 36
    More: Obvious, Digital electronics, video cameras, Angry Birds  
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1517 clicks; posted to Geek » on 12 Apr 2011 at 11:17 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



36 Comments   (+0 »)
   

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2011-04-12 11:22:39 AM  
Cisco was also the pioneer of the Thong Song, so it looks like it has been a rough few years for that dude.
 
2011-04-12 11:23:37 AM  
Lower video quality than almost every consumer video camera is pioneering?
 
2011-04-12 11:25:31 AM  
pricedrop ?

they are quite fun little gadgets
 
2011-04-12 11:35:21 AM  
I bought three.

/they were cheap enough to put them under that 'what the heck, buy one' price.
 
2011-04-12 11:37:44 AM  
Should we pray for Omarion, just as a precaution?


caguru: Lower video quality than almost every consumer video digi-camera that can also shoot video is pioneering?


they looked easy to use, but if the video is crappy and my $150 12mp camera takes better video... who cares?
 
2011-04-12 11:50:24 AM  
I never understood the appeal of the Flip. Compared to an average digital camera of similar price, it took OK video quality, had a very small screen, limited to internal storage only, had a nonremovable battery (depending on the model, I think), and didn't also take photos. It was also physically as bulky as a standard digital camera.

Some of the newer flip-style camcorders I have seen are much slimmer, use SDHC cards, take HD video, and/or are waterproof, for about the same price. Still wouldn't buy one though.
 
2011-04-12 11:57:14 AM  
Good for making homemade porn on the cheap without worrying about your wife's nosy ass looking all up in your cell.
 
2011-04-12 11:59:40 AM  
www.fiftiesweb.com
 
2011-04-12 12:21:56 PM  
fubegra.net
 
2011-04-12 12:44:58 PM  
And it seems only yesterday I was getting tired of the ads, and hoping they would die! Thanks!
 
2011-04-12 01:35:50 PM  
They poured a crapton of money in their marketing drive to make it look like people were actually using them. Why would Cisco even think of getting in to a consumer product anyway?
 
2011-04-12 01:40:02 PM  

theorellior: Why would Cisco even think of getting in to a consumer product anyway?


I don't know, but I'm glad that there are commercials telling me that Cisco connects me to the clouds. Public clouds, Private clouds, Hybrid clouds...
 
Slu
2011-04-12 01:44:49 PM  
I have two of them. I use one for skiing and other activities where I don't have my phone. The wife uses both of them for research (professor). The Ultra HDs I have shoot pretty good video. Guess I better order some extra battery packs.
 
2011-04-12 01:45:24 PM  
Cisco video?

Link (new window)

Link (new window)
 
2011-04-12 01:52:42 PM  

theorellior: Why would Cisco even think of getting in to a consumer product anyway?


They acquired Linksys (or Linsky, as many technophobes like to say) in 2003, so it's nothing new.
 
2011-04-12 02:15:51 PM  
We have one and like it. It takes better video that my camera, and it was cheap to boot. It's good for camp-outs and various other outings where, if I drop the damn thing down an alligator's throat, I'm not real concerned about it.
 
2011-04-12 02:17:52 PM  
I'm pretty sure crappy quality is why the Flip camera is losing money. I've had two of them, and each has malfunctioned in that I need to take the batteries out in between uses. If the camera sits for a day or two with the batteries in it, it will not boot up. You have to take them out and wait a few hours. When I talked to Flip support, they said, yeah, it's a problem, but we're not going to do anything about it.
 
2011-04-12 02:18:18 PM  

balthan: theorellior: Why would Cisco even think of getting in to a consumer product anyway?

They acquired Linksys (or Linsky, as many technophobes like to say) in 2003, so it's nothing new.


At least the Linksys acquisition was halfway related to their core market. The camera thing never made any sense to me.

/currently surrounded by a $3 mil pile of Cisco gear
//the pile is a lot smaller than it probably sounds
 
2011-04-12 03:02:46 PM  
Flip Flops


/how was that not the headline?
 
2011-04-12 03:12:15 PM  
bugmn99
/currently surrounded by a $3 mil pile of Cisco gear
//the pile is a lot smaller than it probably sounds


That's like, what, three Catalyst switches and a 2800 series router?
 
2011-04-12 03:23:45 PM  

LetsGoBowling: bugmn99
/currently surrounded by a $3 mil pile of Cisco gear
//the pile is a lot smaller than it probably sounds

That's like, what, three Catalyst switches and a 2800 series router?


To be fair, each device came with about $300k worth of mounting brackets, console cables, screws (each in their own protective packet), cable management, screws, stackwise cables, grounding lugs, more screws...
 
2011-04-12 03:41:50 PM  

eagle5953: I never understood the appeal of the Flip. Compared to an average digital camera of similar price, it took OK video quality, had a very small screen, limited to internal storage only, had a nonremovable battery (depending on the model, I think), and didn't also take photos. It was also physically as bulky as a standard digital camera.

Some of the newer flip-style camcorders I have seen are much slimmer, use SDHC cards, take HD video, and/or are waterproof, for about the same price. Still wouldn't buy one though.


When the Flip came out (big caveat) it was cheaper and easier to use than a digital camcorder, and had better quality than cellphone video or videos from digital still cameras.

Now, there's tons of competition from other standalone low end video camcorders, and the recording capability of both cell phones and digital point and shoot cameras has improved by leaps and bounds. Technology passed it by.
 
2011-04-12 03:45:39 PM  
People are forgetting the primary demographic.

The Flip was easy to use when drunk.
 
2011-04-12 03:58:21 PM  

LetsGoBowling: bugmn99
/currently surrounded by a $3 mil pile of Cisco gear
//the pile is a lot smaller than it probably sounds

That's like, what, three Catalyst switches and a 2800 series router?


That's exactly what I thought!
 
2011-04-12 04:25:57 PM  
The flip was a flop? Who knew? I must have known twenty people that had one of the damn things.
 
2011-04-12 04:34:45 PM  
Cisco didn't do anything except buy up a promising niche video camera company, neglect it and then kill it off firing hundreds of people.

Flip likely could have kept innovating new ideas and selling new devices. Instead because they didn't make X billion magically, they got canned.

Cisco probably has some weird idea that if people start using up more bandwidth people/companies would need more Cisco gear to support it. So buy a company that can upload video to web sites might seem like a way to do that.
 
2011-04-12 05:22:44 PM  

swaxhog: Cisco didn't do anything except buy up a promising niche video camera company, neglect it and then kill it off firing hundreds of people.

Flip likely could have kept innovating new ideas and selling new devices. Instead because they didn't make X billion magically, they got canned.


W00t! The Invisible Hand makes the best decisions!
 
2011-04-12 06:04:49 PM  
They were cheap enough and good enough for what they did. I got one and taped it to the underside of my front bumper and vrecorded my commute to work from ground level.

You could do things like that because you didn't really care if it broke or not.
 
2011-04-12 08:16:27 PM  
I almost bought a Flip. Bought a baby Leica (C-Lux 3) instead.
 
2011-04-12 08:30:20 PM  

balthan: They acquired Linksys (or Linsky, as many technophobes like to say) in 2003, so it's nothing new.


My mom does this and drives me nuts. There are two fundamental syllables. As Bob would say, THIS IS STUPIDLY SIMPLE, PEOPLE.
 
2011-04-12 11:42:33 PM  
Even when the Flip was brand new, before Cisco bought them, there were products that did better for cheaper. I never understood the Flip's popularity. Maybe it was all simplicity and marketing. Maybe Apple would've been the better fit.
 
2011-04-13 04:54:21 AM  

Lsherm: They were cheap enough and good enough for what they did. I got one and taped it to the underside of my front bumper and vrecorded my commute to work from ground level.

You could do things like that because you didn't really care if it broke or not.


This. I know 150 bucks isn't exactly throw away, but I'd much rather suction-cup one of these to my car than my 5D.

Also very handy for on the bike - managed to destroy one coming down a mountain last year, but at least I got to see myself fly over the handlebars.
 
2011-04-13 06:41:14 AM  
i have a flip, decent enough to bring in a rock/metal show if you don't want to get your expensive cam to get busted
 
2011-04-13 09:13:50 AM  
Was an odd buy IMO.

Cisco has been reorging to align better with business priorities, and I guess Flip was the first to get the cut.

Message from the CEO that started making the rounds last week: Cisco Blog (new window)

Something's gotta be done to make the investors happy!
 
2011-04-14 04:17:24 PM  
Actually, the Flip was selling plenty well enough.
 
2011-04-14 05:40:54 PM  

The really sad thing was that this happened the day before the new FlipLive model (capable of acting as a live HD webcam when in a Wi-Fi zone) was due to go on sale.

What was great about the Flip was the ease-of-use. To quote David Pogue:

The Flip was a great product. Much simpler than a camcorder − the thing pretty much had only one button, Record/Stop − and also much simpler than an app phone. You'd have this thing filming instantly: no powering up, loading with tape, opening the screen, setting to Record mode, and so on. Then you'd pop out the built-in USB connector to transfer the footage to your Mac or PC: no hunting for a cable, setting to PC mode, and all that. Built-in software let you chop off the bad parts and post to YouTube with a couple of clicks.

Because it was so quick and simple, you'd wind up catching moments you'd have lost with any other gadget. I've got all these great videos of my toddler son in the back seat of the car, because he'd suddenly start singing a hilarious made-up song, and I'd grab the Flip from the center console, hit the button, and I'd have it. I would not have had a prayer of getting those songs if I'd had an app phone.
To those who think that it died due to lack of sales or market share, it had over a third (about 35%) of the camcorder market, and was the #1 selling camcorder on Amazon, as of last month.
 
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