In the words of Charlie Sheen, Apple is “winning”. I’m being a little unfair though, Apple isn’t the only one winning this round, any current manufacturer who is churning out mobile phone hardware capable of shooting high definition video and sending it instantly to the Internet has contributed to the death of the standalone video camera. This is an exaggeration but only for now, toady we saw the demise of the extremely popular Flip video camera made by Cisco but expect more of these devices to head the way of the Zune in the near future.
Immediately following the news that Cisco was discontinuing the Flip cam I saw plenty of complaining, most of it centralised around why Cisco felt it necessary to scrap the Flip from its product line and not simply attempt to improve it. The key point here is sharing; in this modern mobile world we thrive off sharing pictures, text and video instantly. This is one thing the Flip couldn’t do, sure you could shoot wonderful high definition video with a small camera but when you had to run back to a computer to get it onto YouTube it’s a little difficult to compete with the all-in-one devices.
We’ve seen these kind of arguments before, when digital cameras in phones started getting good but not quite good enough we justified it by having to carry one less item of gadgetry, the same happened with the MP3 player and now the same is happening the video camcorder.
There is a nail in the coffin for the Flip cam though, delivered with courtesy from Apple in the form of iMovie. Sure it’s great that I can shoot some 720p high definition video and within a few seconds send it to thousands of people on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and many more but what if I want to do some quick edits and add some music? Apple’s masterful iMovie for iOS is a super powerful piece of software that runs of the iPhone. This simply isn’t a category the Flip cam could compete in without becoming a completely different product and becoming distracted from the instant point-and-shoot approach.
Those in vehement support of the Flip will say that Cisco have jumped the gun, but they’re only anticipating the rapid advancement of the iPhone and many other mobile devices. Quit while your ahead is what they say.
Question is, what is up next on the assassin list for the iPhone? Musical instruments?