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Requiem for the Flip | by van.brussel
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Requiem for the Flip

Ever since I bought my first generation Flip HD Mino, I felt in love with this wonderful device.

 

Yesterday Cisco - the owner of Pure Digital - has announced that it would ditch the popular Flip video. What a big waste!

 

The so-called reason is that HD camera capabilities of current mobile and smart phones have made the tiny Flip video device redundant. At least that's what the "analysts" say. Of course this is not the real reason. Analysts are right to state that moving into the highly competitive consumer business was a bad idea for a company like Cisco whose core business is networking. So yesterday the logic and dictate of the stock exchange killed a remarkable industrial product that - even with the rise of the smart phone - still had a bright future ahead.

 

Single purpose vs. multi purpose

 

What makes the Flip remarkable is its single purpose. It has only one purpose: shoot! Basically it has only one big red button. The big easy…

The world of smart phones is the world of Swiss Army knives. You name a function and there's a tool (App) for that! That's cool. Yeah, I do love my iPhone too…

 

But when I need to cut my sandwich, what knife is the best? A random kitchen knife or a Swiss Army knife?

Does everything need to be multi-purpose? That is the question. Does every digital piece of hardware need to merge into a mobile phone? From usability pov a single purpose device is a lot easier to understand use and manage. For this reason I think the Flip has the right to exist.

 

What is the better video camera? The Flip Mino HD or the iPhone4? The reality is that the Flip outsmarts the iPhone on both video quality and usability. The Flip lacks mobile sharing capabilities that's right but most of the time video requires editing which is done best on a computer with a wide screen!

 

What also appeals to most Flip users is its ruggedness. It's almost unbreakable. Would you tape your iPhone4 on your mountain bike to capture the feeling you have on your wildest rides? I would not. There's a Flip for that!

 

I am curious if this really will be the end of Flip video? I wonder what the millions of Flip users are going to do. I know one thing… when production really stops I will keep my eye on the stocks and buy a couple of these wonderful single purpose - no it's no insult, it's a quality - devices.

 

© 2011 Kristof Van Brussel

 

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Taken on December 12, 2010