Cisco Systems says it will no longer make Flip video cameras, the popular pocket-size cameras that had become a favorite of many real estate professionals looking to easily capture video of houses they sell.
"After careful evaluation, we believe the best course of action is to shut down our Flip business," Cisco spokeswoman Karen Tillman says.
Cisco, a computer networking company, had seen its business for Flip camera steadily dropping due to increased competition from other pocket-sized cameras but, in particular, from smartphones, such as the iPhone and Android, which let consumers record and stream video directly from their phones.
In 2009, Cisco purchased Flip from Pure Digital Technologies for $590 million. The Flip camera had been introduced just two years earlier and quickly became a best seller. The Flip camera’s ease in capturing video and downloading to a computer--a USB connector on the device easily connects the camera to computer--made it popular and spawned several competitors.
Cisco has chosen not to sell the Flip business to another company, a move some analysts were questioning.
"Unless there is some tax or accounting trick going on, someone needs to give it new life and save jobs,” analyst Greg Sterling says. “Flip is still a viable product."
Cisco will continue to support the sharing of Flip videos online.
Source: “Cisco to Close Flip Video-Camera Business,” Gannett News Service (April 12, 2011)