NEW YORK >> Cisco Systems Inc., one of the titans of the technology industry, said yesterday it is killing the Flip Video, the most popular video camera in the U.S., just two years after it bought the startup that created it.
It appears to be a case of a big company proving a poor custodian of a small one, even one that makes a hit product. Cisco never meaningfully integrated the Flip Video into its main business of making computer networking gear.
Flip Video users are now lamenting the demise of a camera that broke new ground. It was inexpensive, pocketable and easy to use, from shooting to editing and online sharing. These features have been copied by many other manufacturers, but the Flip Video still outsells them.
Nicole Bremer Nash, a freelance writer in Louisville, Ky., calls the Flip Video “the little camera that could.”
“I was hoping they’d continue the line and expand the accessories for it instead of getting rid of it altogether,” she said.
The Flip Video is named after an arm that flips out of the camera body and lets the user connect it directly to a computer. The camera even contains video-editing software that fires up on the computer.
“I just find it a really easy process to use, and that’s why I really enjoy my Flip camera,” said Courtney Sandora, another Louisville resident. She’s been using Flip cameras for three years, and said she was “saddened and shocked” by Cisco’s decision.
Cisco didn’t explain why it’s shutting down the Flip Video unit rather than selling it. But the decision is part of a larger shake-up at the world’s largest maker of computer networking gear. After several quarters of disappointing results and challenges in its core business, it’s reversing years of efforts at diversifying into consumer products.