For a while, those little Flip video cameras seemed to be all the rage. They were cheap, pocketable, and made it easy for folks to record decent-quality video that could be shared with friends, family, or YouTube at large. Now, Flip is no more. Its owner, network giant Cisco Systems, will be closing the camera maker to refocus on its core businesses.
Flip's demise should come as no surprise. Modern smartphones feature HD video recording capabilities, lessening the need for dedicated devices that perform the same function. In the same vein, smartphones have nibbled away at the market for standalone GPS devices, digital cameras, MP3 players, and portable gaming systems.
In a way, I'm disappointed to see smartphones take on so much additional functionality. Jacks of all trades are often masters of none, and feature creep surely bears some responsible for the larger size and shorter battery life of newer smartphones. Then again, I was a pretty heavy Palm user back in the day, so I'm floored by the capabilities of what amount to modern PDAs.
Although I'm not quite ready to have my smartphone take over from all my portable electronics, we sure seem to be heading in that direction. How many of your own single-function devices has a smartphone already replaced?