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Companies restructure all of the time. But do they usually dump successful product lines in the process? Good question.

So why is networking company Cisco getting rid of its line of Flip mini video cameras? According to the Consumer Electronics Association, sales of mini video cameras grew from 4.5 million units shipped to retailers in 2009 to 5.7 million in 2010. Sales are projected to continue to rise  in 2011, an estimated 6.5 million units.

Does Cisco know something that we don’t know?

  • There’s competition in the category from the likes of Sony, Kodak, and other brands. Maybe Cisco’s share of the pie isn’t big enough? Maybe profit margins are even slimmer than they are in most electronics categories?

  • Lots of folks are using their smartphones’ camera features. I mean, why fork over $150 for a Flip when smartphone video features are free?

  • Isn’t it easier to just use our phones to do more things these days, making it unnecessary to buy additional electronics?

Here’s the thing: Mini video cameras are easy to use. They‘re light, fit easily into a pocket, and let people capture good times in a quick and enjoyable manner. Plus, they have more video camera features than a smartphone. And, oh yeah, some people can’t fork out big bucks for the iPhone. Lastly, it’s obvious people like the Flip and its competitors because they’re selling.

What do you think?

  • Is Cisco being too hasty in dumping the Flip?

  • Do you think mini video cameras are already getting passé?

  • Do you use your smartphone as a video camera or do you prefer to use a small mini video camera?

  • Do you believe in “doing more with less” and decide against purchasing the latest and greatest consumer products?

I’d love to hear from you.

Continue reading "Is the Flip a Flop? So, Why is Cisco Dumping the Mini Moviemaker?" ... Read the full article

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Ted Mininni is president of Design Force, Inc. (, a leading brand-design consultancy to consumer product companies (phone: 856-810-2277). Ted is also a regular contributor to the MarketingProfs blog, the Daily Fix.