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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: April 15, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

    The Flip has flipped. Shame I just bought one

    Laura Slattery

    It only seems like yesterday that an infinitely more tech-savvy colleague showed me the sleekly designed delight and built-in USB-port convenience of the Flip video camera. It was actually about two-and-a-half years ago, but sadly it was only a couple of months ago that I purchased one. This week, Flip’s owner Cisco Systems announced it was shutting down Flip.

    Boo. It used to seem like being an early adopter was the risky strategy – you shelled out a high price for a glitch-laden technology that was far from certain from becoming the standard platform. Now the tech world’s metabolism is so fast, the risks of not being an early adopter seem almost as great.

    Flip has gone from being glowing new kid to extremely popular camcorder vendor – in the US, more than here – to old-school irrelevance in just four years. But while tech analysts did largely blame high-speed innovation for Flip’s demise, it wasn’t just the cannibalistic powers of the smartphone that killed it. Its shutdown was also the result of a poor commercial decision by Cisco to acquire Flip’s maker, Pure Digital Technologies, in 2009. Cisco specialises in business networks rather than consumer technologies and couldn’t make Flip fit.

    So Flip’s fate is not exactly that of the Sony Minidisc (another gadget loved and lost) all over again. For those who own the cameras, they still have the advantage of great battery life. No one’s going to convince me that the great age of technological convergence has arrived until smartphones boast something as basic as a battery that lasts longer than the parental supply of alcohol at a kids’ birthday party.

    Still, whatever advantages it retains over its apparently more evolved replacements, few people like committing to a technology just when it’s about to become a collector’s item – something consumers might like to keep in mind next time they’re considering buying a PC. According to research firm Gartner, PC sales in the first quarter of 2011 fell 1.1 per cent worldwide and 6.1 per cent in the US.

    (I also bought a cute little mini tripod for my Flip, although so far I’ve only used this as an office desk toy, splaying the cables of its three legs and twisting them into a spiral as the fancy takes me. Procrastination is never going to be an Apple/Google duopoly.)

    The Flip RIP (with a USB port that pops in and out)

     P.S. My television set is 11 years old. It’s older than most of my friendships. I’m not replacing it until it explodes.

    • Vince says:

      I have a Flip for the Last 4 years on my second one actualy and it is great for capturing and sending video to all and sundry, use it to send to grand parents and friend abroad, you can create a movie from the dirrerent grabs and edit the length to cut out all the unnecessary stuff, hope they maintain the website interface for a while

      Great gadget for those with out an Iphone (company insists on blackberry)

    • Mise says:

      Oh, the techno-race. So many of my friends run it, and after a while there’s no point competing – best sit on the side with one’s paperback and old polaroids, having another gin. Long live your television.

    • Couldn’t agree more on the battery comment. I find it amazing that Apple, RIM etc can create such amazing functionality but creating a handset with a decent battery life seems to be beyond them!

    • Maura says:

      Reading about your Flip makes me want one…. you are so right about iphone battery life,
      listen to the radio, leave on bluetooth active, make a few calls, two hours later, battery dead…so you have to have a charger in every port.

    • if your TV(or your laptop) is 11 years old and you subscribe to specialist film/sport channels on the world wide web ,it is unlikely that you can watch the action in large screen via a lead connection from your computer.

    • Bought one myself, for our school, just a week before it was discontinued. Good camera though. Easy to use.


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