I recently learned some sad news. Cisco has decided to shut down Pure Digital – maker of the beloved Flip video camera – just two years after buying them. The weird thing is that Flip cameras have been selling well, so why get rid of them?
The easy answer is that smartphones are to blame, but David Pogue of the NY Times has an interesting take on that. According to Pogue, smartphones aren’t nearly pervasive enough to have pushed Flip over the brink – especially not with Flip video cameras ranked #1 amongst camcorders on Amazon.
So why, then, did Cisco decide to kill Flip? Pogue’s view, based on discussion with industry experts, is simply that Cisco has no clue what they’re doing in the video space. But then why did they buy it in the first place? And why would they choose to kill it off instead of selling it?
He goes on to speculate that perhaps Cisco bought Pure Digital to gain access to the Flip technology for their video conferencing business. That sounds plausible, but why then did they continue developing new products, including the Flip Live, which was scheduled for release the day after Cisco pulled the plug?
We may never know, but what I do know is that I’ll miss the Flip platform. I’ve captured a ton of great little videos on it, and my kids also love playing with it. The video quality is amazing, and it’s so simple to use. Oh well, my Flip Mino still works, so I’m good to go at least for awhile.