New York - Looking to stay on top of the competitive pocket video camera market,
unveiled four new Flip models Monday that will give holiday shoppers a range of options from which to choose.
New models, which are available at retail today, include two Flip UltraHD models and two Flip MinoHD models, each of which brings new cosmetics and several new features, including a hardware-based always-on image stabilization system for the first time.
The new UltraHD and MinoHD models will replace the earlier versions in the Flip lineup, the company said.
New UltraHD models will be available in two storage capacity versions: a one-hour version (4GB of built-in memory) in a choice of colors, including new magenta, blue and white, at a $150 suggested retail; and a $200 suggested retail two-hour version (8GB) offering a thinner body style, a choice of white or black colors and the ability to record 720p HD video at up to a 60 fps rate. The frame rate for the one-hour version remains at 30 fps for 720p.
The company made a strategic decision not to have their camcorders record 1080 video in order to reduce long download times, and enhance the simplicity of operation.
The one-hour UltraHD version will retain the thicker body style of the previous generation to appeal to some customers who find the added girth more comfortable in the hand, the company explained.
Models accept either rechargeable batteries, with approximately two hours of use per charge, or two AA batteries.
New MinoHD models will be available in two versions. A one-hour (4GB) version with 720p/60 fps recording capability and a choice of brushed silver or black colors, for a $180 suggested retail.
A two-hour (8GB) version with 720p/60 fps capability will carry a $230 suggested retail and will be available in black, or custom colors when purchased through the theFlip.com online store.
Cisco also added a new "FlipPort" to the bottom of the new video camcorders in order to enable third-party manufacturers to develop accessories for the popular Flip pocket camera line.
Third-party manufacturers will able to put a special logo on their packaging to let purchasers know that a product has been specifically designed for Flip.
A number of firms are already on board, Cisco said, including Blue Microphone which is making a "Mikey" external stereo microphone, and iGo which will offer a portable video projector. A number of third-party products are expected have products available in October, Cisco said.
The additional SKUs will bring the company that pioneered the pocket cam segment (it currently claims sales of more than 5 million units since launch), a range of feature offerings, different colors and different price points to appeal to a broader audience.
The company is also expanding on its personalized product offerings by making all of the Flip cameras available with customized graphical elements on the bodies for people who order through theFlip.com customer-direct online shop.
The new models, which ship with the company's easy to use FlipShare v5.8 software installed on the onboard memory, will continue to be marketed with an emphasis on simplicity, the company said. The cameras will retain the fast video-download time of earlier versions and personalized channels allowing free private file sharing.
The new 5.8 software version will include the ability to upload videos to Twitter, in addition to YouTube and Facebook that had been possible before.