Video for the masses
The latest version of the popular entry-level digital video camera - the Flip - has been launched in the UK today, priced at £120.
The Flip Mino is, essentially, a smaller version of the Flip Ultra - a £100 digital video camera. It manages this by swapping the two AA batteries of the Ultra for a built-in one and is being positioned by Flip EMEA boss Ray Sangster as "For the YouTube generation."
The whole concept behind Flip is simplicity and ease of use. The company was formed by Jonathan Kaplan, who had the bright idea of producing a digital version of the good-old disposable camera. This led to a disposable video camera and then to the first Flip.
The company has been boosted by $100 million in venture capital investment from VCs like Sequoia and it was through that route that Sangster came on board. He had been one of the leading figures in the original Sony Playstation launch but then went off to become a VC himself. When he expressed an interest in investing in Flip's holding company - Pure Digital Technologies - they said they needed his expertise more than his money and the rest is history.
Flip is one of those products that makes you say "why didn't I think of that?" There's nothing obviously ground-breaking about it - it's just a video camera that aspires to be easy to use and doesn't cost very much - but it's definitely a viable impulse purchase. "Flip identified the opportunity to create a simple product that's easy to use," Sangster told HEXUS.channel. "Behind the ease of use is some clever design and software."
The signature product until today has been the Flip Ultra. "The Ultra has recently sold its one millionth unit in the US and it sells through all parts of the channel," said Sangster.
Here's a quite amusing clip of a Circuit City ad that was apparently never used for the Flip Ultra.