BBC News is reporting that Cisco Systems, the world’s largest provider of computer networking gear, is winding up its Flip video camera operation. Cisco bought Flip’s makers in 2009 and it seemed to be a pretty safe bet. After all, the innovative little camcorders were easy to use and looked like they had a bright future ahead of them.
Fast forward to 2011 and Cisco are refocusing on their core business as a network equipment provider which, unfortunately, means the Flip is going the way of the Dodo.
When you think about it, this makes total sense. When a company tries to diversify too much it loses focus and direction. Think about that much-loved fixture of the British High Street, Woolworths. In later years it never really seemed to know what it was trying to sell… pretty much everything, I think. Or take a look at WH Smith. Rather than focusing on being a top-notch newsagent and bookshop, it’s a bit of a mish-mash of everything and, for me, doesn’t really do the job with any of it. Cisco, rather than becoming a company that doesn’t really know what it’s about, has made the decision to return to what they know best.
OK, so it makes sense, but it’s a real shame their Flip division is being shut down rather than sold off. Maybe nobody wanted to buy it, but I know a fair few Flip fans (try saying that ten times quickly) will lament the passing of their favourite video camera.
Having said that, there are alternatives, like the Sanyo Xacti CG20 which shoots in full HD, is comparable in price to a Flip, and gets favourable reviews. And I have no doubt there will be other manufacturers who will come up with equally clever ideas for the next generation of pocket video cameras.
What do you think about this? Sad to see Flip go? Does it make sense for Cisco to refocus on their core business? Got something else you want to say? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.