Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Goodbye to the Flip

Cisco announced this morning that it's ditching the Flip video cam business as part of its restructuring plan. The end of an era is here.

I'm a fan: I owned one of the original models, upgraded to HD, and have given several Flips as gifts -- yet I understand and agree with the marketing logic behind Cisco's decision.
  • Consumer products aren't Cisco's strength or strategic focus. The Flip came to Cisco via its Pure Digital acquisition two years ago. Since then, Cisco has promoted its corporate name alongside the Flip product. But does the Flip help Cisco reinforce its image as a manufacturer of enterprise networking gear? No.
  • Technology has moved on. Now that millions of consumers carry smartphones capable of recording video, who needs a standalone Flip?
  • Competition has narrowed prices and margins. Cisco would be forever improving the Flip without adding much to its price, thanks to intense competition from rivals with strong consumer identities.
Cisco is doing the right thing. Much as I like the Flip and applaud its pioneering efforts, this is a good time for Cisco to put the spotlight back on its enterprise offerings.

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