RIP Cisco Cius – Another iPad Killer Bites The Dust!

by Gaurav Kheterpal on May 28, 2012

Around two years back, Cisco unveiled one of its most ambitious projects – the Cius, an Android-based tablet platform, which impressed one and all. While the design was suspiciously iPad-like, in fairness, the tablet did a number of things that the iPad didn’t, thereby implying that it was actually a highly functional and indeed, usable, piece of technology for the enterprise.

The networking giant went on to unveil its own unique application ecosystem, dubbed AppHQ, a platform that allowed companies to build their own apps, manage their own app stores, manage the devices in use, and one that could have, of course, ushered in the next generation of portable video, telepresence, and teleconferencing technologies that will run on the Cius.

Towards the end of the last year, it was believed that Cisco is planning the launch of the next generation Cius tablets. Back then, it was believed that the networking giant could quickly corner the business tablet market with Cius.

Two weeks back, Cisco published a study which suggested that BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is quickly emerging as a norm in the enterprise. And last week, the networking giant announced that that it would be discontinuing its Cius tablet.

It’s a sad end for a fabulous device which could have emerged as game changer in the enterprise tablet segment.

In a blog post, Cisco’s senior vice president of the company’s TelePresence Technology Group, OJ Winge mentioned.

“We are facing a workplace that is no longer a physical place, but a blend of virtual and physical environments; where employees are bringing their preferences to work, and BYOD is the new norm. Where collaboration has to happen beyond a walled garden; and any-to-any connectivity is a requirement, not a ‘nice to have [feature]’.

“95 per cent of organisations surveyed allow employee-owned devices in some way, shape or form in the office, and 36 per cent of surveyed enterprises provide full support for employee-owned devices. These stats underscore a major shift in the way people are working in the office, at home and on the go, a shift that will continue to gain momentum.

Given its emphasis on BYOD, the company is now focusing on software like Cisco Jabber (messaging) and Cisco Webex (remote conferencing), which it already offers for third-party PCs and tablets. In that sense, Cius was more of a collaboration device for business users rather than a content consumption device for consumers. And the hefty price tag of $750 meant that most people would be inclined to buy an iPad or consider any of the many Android tablet alternatives that offer more features and performance for a fraction of the cost.

Given that Cisco has discontinued several products such as Flip Cam & Umi Home over the last year, several analysts believed that the writing was on the wall for Cius.

While the Cius was no iPad, I for one, believed it was a decent enterprise tablet. RIP Cisco Cius!

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby:RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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