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Goodbye Flip

April 12, 2011

Cisco has announced that they’re discontinuing the Flip Cam. The brand, acquired by Cisco in 2009 for $590 million in stock, is being axed in a restructuring by Cisco.

To say this is a surprise wouldn’t be entirely true. TechCrunch wrote back in 2009 that Flip would soon face tough competition from video-enabled smart phones, especially the iPhone. With more people leaving behind their old feature phones for smart phones, Cisco seems to have seen the writing on the wall and decided to end Flip’s run before running it into the ground. With it, though, goes cheap, small, consumer-friendly camcorders.

Even with smart phones growing in market share, there are still many people who will hold out against buying one. And what about kids? The cost of a smart phone for a 10 year old is much higher than buying a Flip cam. Just last year we were required to buy a cheap Flip cam instead of a text book for a news production class. Students cannot be asked to buy a smart phone just for the video capabilities.

This means there will be an increased reliance on smart phones. As journalists it is becoming more and more necessary to invest in a smart phone for video, audio, Internet access and more. Without Flip as a viable alternative to mobile video, it only cements smart phones as the new camcorders.

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