Tuesday, April 12, 2011

No More Flip Cameras

Yahoo- Cisco Systems Inc., the world's largest maker of computer networking gear, on Tuesday said it's killing its Flip Video camcorder business as part of a reversal of years of efforts at diversifying into consumer products. The about-face comes after several quarters of disappointing results and challenges in its core businesses. Analysts say the company has been trying to do too many different things. A week ago, CEO John Chambers acknowledged the criticism, sending employees a memo vowing to take "bold steps" to narrow the company's focus. The San Jose, Calif., company said Tuesday that it expects its consumer business shakeup will result in the loss of 550 jobs, or less than 1 percent of its work force of about 73,000. It also expects to take restructuring charges of no more than $300 million spread out over the current quarter, which ends April 25, and the following one. Cisco bought Pure Digital Technologies Inc., the maker of the Flip Video camcorder, for $590 million in 2009, just two years after the San Francisco-based company made its first camera. The Flip Video quickly became a top seller because it was easy to use. A signature feature, since copied by many other manufacturers, was a USB connector that flipped out of the case, letting the user connect the camera directly to a computer. The camera even contained video-editing software that fired up on the computer. Last year, the Flip Video was still the top-selling video camera in the U.S., with 26 percent of the market, according to IDC analyst Chris Chute. But that only amounted to 2.5 million units sold. Dedicated video cameras are small potatoes compared to digital still cameras and smart phones, both of which now shoot video. That could be the reason Cisco appears to see no point in selling the business -- the announcement Tuesday said Flip will be closed down. It will continue to support the sharing of Flip videos online. A Cisco spokesman did not respond to a question about why the unit would be shut down. Top competitors in the pocket camcorder field, which could benefit from Flip Video's demise, are Eastman Kodak Co. and Samsung Electronics Co. The company said it will realign its remaining consumer business to support four of its five key priorities -- routers and switches; corporate communications and collaboration equipment; data-center products and video.

Who gives a shit? Does anyone really need a thing that records video. Like, I got my phone and iPod already. I can shoot two angles. I can make a shitty TV show with what I keep on me every day. Carrying a Flip Cam now is like carrying a Walkman or a Game Boy. They're uni-taskers. My Blackberry makes it so I don't need a Flip Cam, a video game system, a PDA (remember those?), an iPod (even though I still have one of those), a camera, any news papers or magazines. And my iPod does all that too. All I need now is a metro card app and one where I can use my iPod like credit card and that's all I need to bring with me. Just take a picture of my driver's license in case I get pulled over, maybe make an app for my storm card and I can leave my wallet at home too. No need to worry about getting robbed (unless they take my iPod, then I'm really fucked).

And can we all agree that there is nothing wrong with their business plan? They just didn't see how fast everything was going to happen. If they knew what Apple was going to do over the last 2 years they would of just sold Cisco and put all their money in Apple (or Blackberry, or Android, or HTC) stock.

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