RIP Flip

Well, this one can be filed under 'sad, but inevitable.' Remember Flip cameras? The small(ish)-but-decent(ish) quality digital video cameras that were all the rage in, ooh, 2008? They are no more. Owners Cisco are closing Flip down as part of 'key, targeted moves as we align operations in support of our network-centric platform strategy,' the company says. (That's management-speak for 'they weren't doing very well so we got rid of them.) 500 staff are to be absorbed elsewhere into the Cisco borg.

Why? In a word: smartphones. In 2008, when the average phone had a pretty crappy camera, Flips made sense. In 2011? Not so much. The iPhone 4 can do not just video but HD video, as can most top-end Android phones. And someone who really wants a cheap dedicated video camera can choose from hundreds of cheap-n-cheerful Chinese options on eBay or Amazon. If you want slightly better quality, your main camera probably does decent video too. Much like the standalone mp3 player, standalone video cameras just aren't necessary any more.

Still, we'll miss the Flip. There was something marvellous about the audacity with which it packed up fairly unimpressive tech and wowed a easily-impressed public with it.

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