shuttering its Flip Video business was but the latest twist in the history of the market share-leading device. The Flip got its start after its creator, Pure Digital, modified its original disposable camcorder to be reusable after hackers showed it could be done. And its success continued to defy convention that the product would resonate against a slew of digital cameras and increasingly competent smartphones that could shoot competitive -- and even high definition -- video.
The Flip also soared above the market share of companies with far stronger brands such as Sony and Kodak, although the latter made gains on a string of hits, including the 1080p-shooting Zi8 and waterproof PlaySport. It even fought back an initial foray from Apple's iPod nano and was still holding its own after the debut of the latest iPod touch, which took the HD video capture feature from the iPhone and made it available without a contract. Yes, the Flip hung tough. That's why its cancellation says volumes about Cisco, the company that acquired it for some $590 million in stock.
Cisco needed to show growth with a consumer product line that could not be easily augmented with acquisitions and that derived little connection with the mother brand -- even less than Linksys, the company's networking line. Cisco certainly tried. But the Flip group made a few false moves that stuck out like a pop-out USB connector, and with little of that spring-loaded joy.