Strike up another win for integrated devices. Cisco announced yesterday plans to lay off 550 people and axe its line of Flip handheld camcorders that it purchased from Pure Digital in a $590 million acquisition two years ago.
For some time, Flip camcorders were exceedingly popular as a quick and cheap digital video recorder, but there allure quickly began to fade as smartphones like the iPhone 4 began offering similar quality video recording options.
When Steve Jobs showcased the first iPad nano with a built-in video camera, he boasted that the Nano was considerably cheaper and significantly smaller. While the iPad nano probably didn’t do much to pull any potential customers away from Flip, it was only a matter of time that the dedicated video recorder for day to day use would become akin to the dedicated MP3 player – obsolete.
The iPhone 4’s video quality is top notch and also offers high quality still photo options as well, something which the Flip doesn’t offer. Moreover, the iPhone 4 and other smartphones are increasingly offering users the ability to quickly upload and share video with friends, yet another feature the Flip couldn’t really compete on.