We don’t know about you, but since getting our mitts on an iPhone 4 last June, we haven’t touched our Flip Video or camcorder ever since. Apparently, we’re not alone, as parent company Cisco has just announced it’s closing the Flip business for good.
TechCrunch is reporting that Cisco is closing the doors on its Flip Video business in an effort to better “align its operations” by leaving parts of its consumer business in the dust while they focus on “core routing, switching and services; collaboration; architectures and video.” The move will effectively pink slip 550 employees in the process.
You may recall that Cisco acquired the Flip business in a $590 million acquisition of the former Pure Digital only two years ago. While it would seem that the tiny, reasonable-quality Flip cameras were perfect for the YouTube generation, they were always hampered by a lack of internet connectivity in an era where it’s simply too easy to grab some video with your iPhone 4, do a quick edit in iMovie and immediately upload it to others on Facebook, MobileMe and more.
“We are making key, targeted moves as we align operations in support of our network-centric platform strategy,” explains Cisco CEO John Chambers in a statement. “As we move forward, our consumer efforts will focus on how we help our enterprise and service provider customers optimize and expand their offerings for consumers, and help ensure the network’s ability to deliver on those offerings.”
While the Flip side of the business is closing its doors, Cisco intends to “support current FlipShare customers and partners with a transition plan,” although details are scarce on exactly what that will entail.
It’s interesting to note that Apple stated its intentions to go after competitors like Flip with the introduction of the camera-enabled iPhone 3GS in 2009, which was soon followed by cameras in the iPod nano as well. The final straw appears to have been last year’s introduction of the iPhone 4, which brought 720p HD video recording on par (or even exceeding) that of the Flip cameras — complete with an always-on 3G data connection to easily share those videos with the rest of the world.