One thing the Flip missed [Update]

Christopher Breen wrote a great piece on the end of the Flip for Macworld:

“Cisco, unlike Apple, never figured out how to get people to buy The Next One. If you had a recent Flip MinoHD, what incentive did you have to buy this year’s model? Your camera already shot 720p HD video. It stored an hour of that video, which is plenty for the kind of shooting people use the camera for. And it couldn’t be easier to operate. For most people, the Flip they owned was perfect just as it was.”

Absolutely right. Every 12 months or so, Apple provides customers with a compelling reason to buy another iPod, the very device that some credit with the Flip’s demise [1. At least in part.]. I believe there was another contributing factor that Chris didn’t mention. Specifically, the iPod and iPhone immediately answer the question, “What do I do with this video now?”

The people who record brief, spontaneous events typically intend to share them with friends or the Internet at large. The iPhone and iPod let them shoot some video, tap the Share button and send it to YouTube, Vimeo or a MobileMe gallery, right then and there. Heck, you can even do some fancy editing before hand.

Flip video must be offloaded to a computer for sharing. By then, some users have lost the motivation to follow through. Why shoot and wait when you can shoot and share?

In short, Apple’s devices cater the contemporary, spontaneous videographer more effectively than the Flip did. It was a great little device that, unfortunately, missed a crucial step.

[Via Daring Fireball]

Update: Mr. D. adds a good point via Twitter: “Consider the iPod nano which had video but couldn’t share it…and now the cam’s gone.”

Update 2: According to David Pogue, the planned FlipLive would have addressed this issue by offering live streaming via Wi-Fi.