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Cisco to shutter Flip camera line

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Cisco has announced that it's shutting down the Flip video camera line, purchased a few years ago from Pure Digital for a whopping $590 million, for good. That's a shame -- while, of course, the iPod nano and the iPhone (and now the iPad 2) have carried video cameras of varying quality for a little while now, I really liked using my Flip MinoHD, and I often used it to shoot a few quick HD videos to edit in iMovie or elsewhere. As you can see in the various comparison videos, the Flip was a more than worthy competitor to Apple's growing video capabilities, and it was arguably one reason why Apple moved so quickly on handheld HD video in the first place.

The reasons for the shutdown likely have more to do with Cisco's position rather than any competition with video hardware itself -- the IT giant picked up the boutique camera manufacturer, some analysts say, because it wanted to get into consumer electronics. But the company just wasn't ready to deal with that market, and the analysis on this shutdown now says Cisco is just declaring a surrender on a deal it thought would work out.

That said, the field of consumer video electronics is definitely changing fast. As devices like the iPhone become more powerful and capable of shooting and even editing video, traditional handheld cameras will have to move fast to keep up.

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