How Apple Could Crush The Flip Cam Next Week

Apple’s (AAPL) new product event next week could be bad news for Flip, the camcorder line that Cisco (CSCO) bought earlier this year for $590 million.

New iPod touch gadgets with video cameras and Apple’s massive app platform could rule out many peoples’ need to buy or carry a standalone camcorder.

A steady rumour is that Apple’s new iPod touch and iPod nano — expected next week — will ship with cameras. New case prototypes include a slot for a camera lens, and a supposed prototype leaked earlier this month, showing a camera lens on the back of the iPod touch.

The important difference will be whether the new devices only include still cameras, or if they contain video cameras. Still cameras would pose no threat to Cisco, while video cameras — effectively turning every iPod touch and nano into a camcorder — could be big trouble.


As we’ve noted before, the video built into the newish iPhone 3GS is good enough that most casual video shooters would not bother to bring along a separate Flip camera, unless they required hi-def video. Similarly, the iPod touch is likely to be something that people take out of the house more regularly than a separate Flip video camera.

And unlike the Flip, the iPod touch has a wi-fi Internet connection, location features, and access to thousands of apps that can take advantage of photos and video — all significant bonuses.

These apps include basic apps like Apple’s built-in video editor and YouTube uploader, and scores of apps and games on the way that take advantage of Apple’s camcorder APIs for virtual reality-like controls.

Related: Is This Apple’s Next iPod Touch?

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