With many electronics makers looking to replicate the success of the Flip video camera, the company behind it, Cisco, is looking for a new way to stand out.
Since the Flip's debut in 2007, a parade of similar sub-$200 camcorders, from far more established names have followed, including those from Sony, Samsung, Kodak, Creative, Toshiba, and others. Now the Flip folks are mixing it up a bit.
Instead of readying an updated camera for the holidays, the newest product isn't a camera at all, but a tiny, square-ish box that plugs into a TV. Using a small white USB dongle, it can stream your homemade Flip videos stored on your computer to your TV's larger screen, with the ability to sort through videos using an included remote control. The system is called Flipshare TV, and it's available starting Wednesday.
Some 3 million of the pocket-sized flash-based cameras have sold since the Flip's launch in 2007. After establishing the brand, the device's makers Pure Digital sold the company to networking giant Cisco for $590 million.
Jonathan Kaplan, Flip founder and current vice president of Cisco's consumer products group, said earlier this year to expect "networked" Flip cameras, and Flipshare TV is one example of that.
The idea behind Flipshare TV is that you'll be more likely to watch your videos after making them if you can show them to a larger group on a larger screen. Taking home video is great, as Flip's head of marketing Simon Fleming-Wood says, but "the key is the ability is to do fun things with it."… Read more
Consumers won't see a "Qualcomm Inside" sticker on new Windows Mobile phones, but the chip supplier is playing a big role in powering the first crop of phones based on Microsoft's new operating system.
Microsoft announced on Tuesday the first phones to carry the Windows Phone brand and run the Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system--which offers Adobe Flash support, an upgraded browser, and menus that can be navigated with a finger. AT&T has already announced smartphones, with dozens more expected to be rolled out by the end of the year.
The Pure is a rebranded version of the HTC Touch Diamond2, which we took a look at earlier this year, and sports some design changes and, of course, the new features of Windows Mobile 6.5. This includes the Microsoft's MyPhone backup service, an improved Internet Explore Mobile browser that offers Flash Lite support and better navigation tools, … Read more
"Project Pink" is Microsoft's new phone for regular people. Rumors about the software go back months, but the hardware, and who's making it for Microsoft, has been a mystery. Here are the first pictures of Pink phones, Turtle and Pure.
These phones are going to be made by Sharp, which will get to share branding with Microsoft. Sharp produced the Sidekick hardware for Danger, which was bought by Microsoft two years ago. (Which is honestly the only reason we can think of why Microsoft stuck with Sharp for the new phones, versus someone like HTC.) Pink … Read more
Sudoku is a fun game, and thus Pure Sudoku has a lot going for it for that reason alone. The program itself, while serviceable, doesn't do much to impress.
The interface is simple and uncluttered, but is not particularly attractive. A vaguely Asian theme frames a changing background of photos ranging from the Great Wall to Stonehenge. To its credit, the program is very easy to navigate, allowing users to start playing in a matter of moments. Pure Sudoku offers four levels of difficulty, from "very easy" to "difficult." A variety of functions, including the … Read more
Pure Digital unveiled new Flip Video devices Thursday, the Flip Ultra and the Flip Ultra HD. CNET News intern Mats Lewan sits down with CNET News reporter Erica Ogg--who recently chatted with Pure Digital CEO Jonathan Kaplan--to talk out what the new devices offer, as well as what Pure Digital thinks about all those copycat products.Download today's podcast
The success of Pure Digital's original Flip Video has launched a slew of copycat products, and Pure Digital CEO Jonathan Kaplan embraces it.
"It makes me even more proud of the team," he said in an interview this week. "Imitation is an absolutely fine form of flattery. I'm happy every time a competitor launches a new product."
Kaplan's sunny outlook on the competition likely stems from the relative lack of success they have had. Electronics makers much larger and longer-established than the San Francisco-based maker of tiny flash-based digital camcorders--like Sony and Kodak--have attempted to cut themselves a slice of the market. But none has tapped into the almost inexplicable appeal of the slightly boxy, plasticky handheld video camera with the pop-out USB arm, which gets a refresh on Thursday. Plus, now that Cisco Systems has agreed to purchase Pure Digital, the company will have an even bigger platform to stand on.
"We haven't seen significant erosion (of market share) from some of the bigger names that have entered, such as Sony, Kodak or RCA," said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for The NPD Group. Besides jumping into the market later, Sony's WebbieHD and Kodak's Zi6 are rendered less convenient and sometimes more expensive by either not including a USB connector or additional memory cards, according to Rubin.
As of February, Pure Digital's Flip cameras were the top selling of similar devices that cost $200 or less in its category, followed by Aiptek, which makes the A-HD camera, Taiwan's DXG Technology, RCA, and Sakar, according to NPD. Though NPD doesn't give out retail data on individual companies, Kaplan claims Pure Digital sells "under 10 million" Flip cameras worldwide per year. That's actually good enough to be the No. 2 seller of digital video camcorders in the U.S., regardless of price, putting them right behind Sony.
Now the device that basically invented the $200 flash memory-based digital camcorder category is getting some tweaks in an attempt to keep competitors at bay. The Ultra model, first introduced in 2007, is branching off into two devices: the Ultra II and the Ultra HD.… Read more
Cisco Systems' acquisition of Pure Digital Technologies, maker of the Flip camcorder, has sparked a lot of discussion about the networking giant's intentions. One theory is that Cisco is looking to compete with Apple--especially in the digital living room.
Ben Worthen at The Wall Street Journal surmises:
It isn't a big leap to see Cisco developing a home-media hub that cobbles these pieces together--some sort of device that allows people to upload and watch videos and listen to music throughout their homes. In fact, it looks like a next logical step. Apple has a similar device called Apple … Read more