Flip Video Camera Goes the Way of the Walkman and Palm Pilot

Linda Sharps
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Remember when everyone was talking about the Flip video camera? The cute little affordable handheld device that captured decent video and came in about 90 trillion different customizable covers? Cisco must have believed the camera had a bright future, since they bought Flip maker Pure Digital in 2009 for $590 million.

Two years later, though, Cisco has announced that they're sending the Flip to a nice farm upstate where it will have lots of room to run and play along with all the other once-hot now-not electronic gadgets. Okay, technically they said they're "realigning their consumer businesses to support their key company priorities," but whatevski: the point is, the Flip is dead.

So, now what can you do with that Flip you've been using to capture your kids doing adorable things like attempting to pronounce "fire truck"?

First of all, you can thank your smartphone for killing the Flip business. Way to go, Steve Jobs. It turns out that the versatility of the camera-enabled cellphone essentially made the Flip obsolete—along with alarm clocks and those funny time-telling things people used to wear around their wrists.

Secondly, keep on using it. The company says it's figuring out a transition plan for repair and support, as well as FlipShare, Flip’s video-sharing service, but if your camera works and you like the results, there's no reason to retire the device just yet.


I was initially really surprised to hear about Flip's demise, but I thought about my own situation: someone once gave me a Flip video camera, and while I was impressed with its clever, easy design, I ultimately passed it along to another friend. My little point and shoot camera is smaller, I'm more apt to have it with me, and it captures better video.


In a world with too many awesome devices, some just aren't going to make it. As always, convergence is the name of the game—what's the one device we'll all be carrying? I'm already taking more smartphone photos, as crappy as they sometimes are, just because that's what's always in my purse. People don't want to shlep around a handful of gadgets that all do the same thing.


Do you own a Flip? Are you bummed to hear about their discontinuation?



Image via Flip

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