Cisco all but kills Cius tablet computer

Cisco is slowly killing off its Cius business tablet less than a year after it started shipping.

The Android-based collaboration tool, which featured a 7-inch touchscreen and was not intended to challenge more consumer-oriented tablets such as Apple’s iPad, fell victim to the BYOD trend and cloud computing, Cisco said in a blog post.

The post, authored by OJ Winge, senior vice president of Cisco’s TelePresence Technology Group, states that Cisco will discontinue investment and development of the tablet, which Network World reviewed in February.

“… 95% of organizations surveyed allow employee-owned devices in some way, shape or form in the office, and, 36% 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.

“Based on these market transitions, Cisco will no longer invest in the Cisco Cius tablet form factor, and no further enhancements will be made to the current Cius endpoint beyond what’s available today. However, as we evaluate the market further, we will continue to offer Cius in a limited fashion to customers with specific needs or use cases.”

Cisco will instead “double down” on software offerings like its Jabber and WebEx products for more popular tablets and smartphones supporting a variety of operating systems, the blog states. Cisco unveiled a version of Jabber for the iPad at the Enterprise Connect conference earlier this year.

“We will leverage key learnings and key collaboration experiences native to Cius in our other collaboration products,” Winge states in his post.

Cisco has been discontinuing disappointing products over the past year, specifically in consumer-oriented collaboration. It killed its Flip pocket videocam and its umi home TelePresence unit.

According to Network World’s Cius review, the tablet was only available through the Cisco partner network. It cost less than $750 for an endpoint and less than $350 for a media station, for a total of under $1,100.

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