Cisco Systems, Inc. recently decided to discontinue production of the Flip camcorder, a popular and lightweight consumer video recording device. In related news, industry analysts are predicting a drop in demand for personal computers due to the popularity of Apple's iPad 2. With all the rapid changes that occur in the world of gadgets, how are consumers supposed expected to keep up?
Watch Rasmussen College Information Systems Management program instructor Jacob Sorem give practical advice to the Twin Cities' KARE 11 news on how to plan your gadget puchases and avoid outdated technology.
Julie Nelson: The Flip video camera is officially out of commission, dumped this week by the company that produces it. Now, there's a report that PC sales are suffering in part due to the popular iPad. So, what is a consumer to do when their technology constantly gets trumped. KARE 11's Jordana Green looks into it.
Jeff Solheim: In the palm of your hand, full touch screen.
Jordana Green: The latest, greatest, fastest, smallest. Technology is ever changing, and the life span of your devices is getting shorter.
Shel Hannafin: Yes, it gets expensive. It's hard to keep up with.
David Wallace: Upgrading your phone every couple of years, kind of annoying. It gets expensive.
Jordana Green: But there is a timeline to technology.
Jeff Solheim: Laptops and desktop computers tend to be about a three month life cycle now. Your cell phones, your smaller technologies, about a six month cycle because they know they want to get you in that contract. Then the iPads, the touch tablets, those are about a one year cycle.
Jordana Green: Just this morning I recorded my own son's school play on my Flip Camcorder. As soon as I got to work, they told me the Flip's no longer being made and my favorite technology is out of date. So how is a consumer like me or you supposed to keep up?
Jeff Solheim: Do your research, weigh the options whether you want to jump in now or wait three months, because there's always something new coming out on the horizon. If you keep waiting, you're going to keep waiting beyond that.
Jacob Sorem: Let me do the same search on here . . .
Jordana Green: Jacob Sorem teaches IT at Rasmussen College. With no skin in the sales game, he offers this.
Jacob Sorem: My advice for consumers would be find something that you want. Find something that does what you want it to do or something that you're very interested in using and go with it.
Jordana Green: To avoid buyer's remorse, Micro Center and Best Buy have buy-back programs so you can trade in out dated technology and stay current until tomorrow.
The very latest buzz is on the Android tablet. It will be out in July, and Jeff Solheim [SP] at Micro Center says it's cheaper, will have more apps than the iPad, and it won't be tied to a carrier. And that, of course, could all change tomorrow.
Julie Nelson: I'm keeping my Flip though.
Jordana Green: Well, you do like that. Do you have an iPhone or another device that takes video?
Julie Nelson: I don't. I don't personally have an iPhone.
Jordana Green: So, that's your one device that takes video.
Julie Nelson: This is it. Goes right into my computer. I know it's single use, but it works for me.
Mike Pomeranz: Yeah, that's all that matters, that it's cool for you. I know BlackBerry's coming out with their new Playbook to rival the iPad too.
Julie Nelson: It's just that, you know, once I figure one thing out. Like you figured that out, right, how it works for you, and it's like please just stop for ten minutes so I can have something that's works that's not out of date. Thanks, Jordana.