Image via CrunchBase
When writing the headline for this post, I couldn't decide between "Why I'll miss the Flip camcorder" and "Why I won't miss the Flip camcorder." Clearly, I'm conflicted. Here's why.
* I was an early Flip adopter. I bought an early version of the Flip from CVS, back when it was marketed as a 'disposable' camcorder. You shot your footage, you took the camcorder to the drugstore for processing, and you got back in return a DVD with your video on it. The camcorder was presumably recycled. I've followed the camcorder through its trajectory since, so I feel a kind of connection to it.
* The Flip was ultra easy. I've given my old Flip camcorders to friends, including a six-year-old, who started using it right away, no instructions necessary. At a time when technology continues to grow more complicated, it was refreshing to have a gadget that did one thing, and did it well.
* And yet, I haven't used a Flip in over a year. My iPhone 4 takes video that, as far as I can tell, is just as good as what a Flip can shoot. I always have my iPhone 4 with me; not the case with a Flip.
I realize a lot of people don't own video-capable smartphones. And I think there was still some lifespan left for the Flip, especially if it offered features a smartphone can't, such as shooting video underwater. But clearly, Cisco didn't believe these were compelling reasons to keep going with the Flip.
The death of the Flip makes me wonder which single-function device is next. Are portable GPS units similarly doomed? Is the hard-drive iPod about to meet its maker? Will anyone care?