Cisco kills off Cius tablet

Despite its belief in the BYOD market, Cisco is stopping development of its own tablet device

Cisco is ceasing investment into its own Cius tablet, claiming software is the best bet for its the future in the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) market.

The announcement was made in a blog post from the company’s senior vice-president of the telepresence technology group, OJ Winge, who is responsible for both hardware and software products for Cisco’s collaboration portfolio.

He referred to Cisco’s own research that claimed 95% of organisations were allowing personal devices into the workplace in some form, whereas 36% of businesses were fully supporting these tablets, laptops and smartphones.

However, despite these positive figures, Winge believed his own company’s tablet was not the best route to market for the networking giant.

“We’re seeing tremendous interest in… software offerings,” he wrote. “Customers see the value in how these offerings enable employees to work on their terms in the Post-PC era, while still having access to collaboration experiences.

“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.”

Winge said the Cius would be available “in a limited fashion” on a case-by-case basis where the company thought it fitted an organisation’s needs, but this will not be a regular occurrence.

The new focus will be software, with a “doubling down” on products such as Jabber and WebEx, to enable BYOD with rival devices such as iPads or Android tablets.

“Experience matters, and Cisco is focused on empowering individual collaboration styles more effectively and securely, while providing the broadest choice of collaboration options based on preference, location and device,” concluded Winge.   

Cisco first announced the Cius tablet – a 7in device running Google’s Android operating system –  in June 2010, but it took many months to come to market and never caught the wave of adoption of Apple’s dominating device, leaving a number of questions about its validity.

The company announced its third quarter results at the beginning of May, with income raising 20% to $2.2bn in the three-month period. However, Cisco's CEO, John Chambers, warned the next quarter would be less successful due to the “unsettled [economic] environment”, especially in Europe.  

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