In a move to realign company interests and focus on enterprise customers in the wake of recent losses, Cisco is shutting down its Flip Video production division.
A Brief History of Flip Video
Pure Digital Technologies started the line way back in 2006. Originally manufacturing disposable camcorders, Pure Digital improved the quality and design of its product enough for the device to become reusable. And the pocket camcorder was born, with the Pure Digital Point & Shoot.
A year later the Point & Shoot was rebranded as the Flip Video, and Pure Digital began a successful run as purveyors of low-end, easy to use camcorders. Pure Digital and Flip Video were, in fact, successful enough that the company and its flagship line piqued the interest of Cisco.
Cisco acquired Pure Digital for $590 million in 2009, and released several additions to the Flip line, such as the Flip SlideHD and Flip UltraHD. However Cisco’s run with the company did not last long, and two short years after Cisco’s acquisition, the history of Flip Video comes to a close.
Reasons for Cisco’s Decision
There seems to be a two pronged cause/rationale to the closure of the Flip Video line. The first is Cisco’s aforementioned decision to buckle down and set its sights forward on enterprise products and a more selective offering of consumer devices (routers and whatnot). Cisco has struggled financially recently, and it makes sense for the large, sprawling company to regroup.
The second cause is competition. In 2006, Flip Video camcorders were novel devices. However, since Cisco’s acquisition, everyone has gotten into the pocket camcorder industry. Kodak brought competition shortly after Cisco first acquired Pure Digital with the Kodak Zi8. It continued producing challengers for Flip, such as the Kodak PlaySport and PlayTouch models.
Sony also offered competition with the Sony Bloggie Touch.
Possibly most damning of all was the dramatic improvement and proliferation of cell phone cameras. The rise of smartphones featuring quality cameras that offer HD recording could drain the pocket camcorder industry of most of its business.