Cisco has announced it’s closing down the Flip business and folding the UMI video conferencing product into its Business TelePresence line. The news comes on the heels of last week’s announcement that WorldGate, maker of the ill-fated Ojo video phone, has finally shut its doors for good. Bye bye, badly-managed video products. Hello, smartphone and tablet world.
As an early Flip camera fanatic, I’m sorry to see the brand die, but Dave called it a year ago. Not only was the product outside of Cisco’s wheelhouse, it also had a limited window of success because of the video functions being loaded into smartphones. I currently own a Kodak Zi8 video camera. It’s a great little device, but I don’t think I’ve pulled it out of my bag since last June.
As for the two video phone products – really, what were those guys thinking? Even perfectly executed, the Cisco and Worldgate (briefly Motorola) SKUs were awfully expensive alternatives to free video Skype on the web. Yes, Apple has been successful at introducing a product we don’t really need for hundreds of dollars, but the iPad does a lot more than just video, and in the case of the iPad 2, video calls. Oh yeah, and that video calling thing? Watch Apple make it a hit. I still think video calling is a killer app. Just not for the UMI or the Ojo.