Photo: Associated Press
Cisco has killed its year-old Cius tablet, the company said in a blog post.This isn’t exactly shocking. The tablet was a strange, overpriced beast for Cisco.
While Cisco’s general idea with this tablet wasn’t bad, the way Cisco went about it was odd. Cius was supposed to represent a new breed of communications for the enterprise. It was supposed to be something IT departments bought for employees instead of a telephone — and maybe instead of a telephone and a PC.
It was chock full of Cisco’s collaboration software for making calls and video conferences. It was supposed to be more secure because only apps from a corporate-owned app store could be loaded onto it. In other words: No Angry Birds.
The Cius never really sold well, sources told us, though Cisco officials wouldn’t release actual numbers. In order to really use it as a phone replacement, you had to have the tablet (priced at about $700) and a docking station (another couple hundred bucks).
Cisco didn’t sell Cius to consumers either. It could only be bought by companies.
In a blog post, the company said it was formally pulling the plug. “Cisco will no longer invest in the Cisco Cius tablet form factor, and no further enhancements will be made to the current Cius endpoint beyond what’s available today. However, as we evaluate the market further, we will continue to offer Cius in a limited fashion to customers with specific needs or use cases.”
Despite the failure with Cius, we applaud Cisco for trying something new.
Cisco sees enterprise collaboration as a $45 billion market and it has been going after it with a vengeance, with mixed results. It has WebEx and a product called Jabber, a competitor to Microsoft Lync. Jabber is available on the iPad and has won over some surprise customers, like Groupon. Collaboration now represents 21% of Cisco’s revenue but year-over-year revenue for the unit was flat last quarter.
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