UPDATED: The next iteration of Flip video cameras will reportedly be WiFi-enabled, allowing users to wirelessly upload their videos. Pocket Lint first broke the news, and CrunchGear claims to have confirmed it. This next-gen Flip will also reportedly have a slide-out screen that reveals the record and menu buttons underneath — the screen will not, however, be a touchscreen. Update: We had a chance to speak with a few Cisco/Flip reps this morning who said they had not confirmed this news and would not comment on any upcoming products.
The addition of Wi-Fi
will would be a nice touch for the video camera, and an appropriate marriage with parent company Cisco’s networking tech. (Perhaps the Wi-Fi will even tie into the mysterious forthcoming Flip set-top box.) But the bigger question plaguing the entire Flip line is just how much life is left in a standalone product. Decent video-recording capabilities are being embedded in phones like the Droid, iPhone and iPod Nano. As we learned earlier this year, the video quality of the Nano doesn’t quite match up to the Flip cam yet, but that’s a big yet. Will people want to carry around a dedicated video camera when their phone will do just fine for capturing spontaneous moments?
When we’ve spoken with Flip reps in the past they’ve put on a brave face and said that there is enough room for lots of players in the space, but it’s hard to believe that. With multipurpose devices getting better at shooting video and the high-end HD cameras dropping in price, the better-than-good-but-not-great Flips are getting squeezed out.