Last week Cisco officially pulled the plug on the Cius, their 7-inch tablet aimed at the business sector. After trying to carve a niche in the tablet space for a year and a half, the company decided that their time is better spent working on software and apps that can run on other tablets like the iPad and Kindle fire.
A number of factors combined to make the Cius a tough sell. Its price tag, for example, was not one that fit well into tight IT budgets. At $750 a piece, the Cius cost about as much as one of Cisco’s mid-range VoIP phones and a Wi-Fi iPad — and that price didn’t include the desktop phone dock you see above.
Cisco’s AppHQ market didn’t strike a chord with CIOs and IT admins either. Ultimately Cisco learned that many of those who rely on their network equipment for day-to-day operations opted to roll out BYOD programs instead of bothering to deploy specific tablets in the workplace.
Really, dual-purpose devices have always been a tricky sell. Apple CEO Tim Cook famously panned “forced convergence,” saying that you can combine any two devices you like — like a refrigerator and a toaster — but the end result probably won’t please anyone. The Cius desktop phone-tablet convergence clearly fell into the fridge-toaster category.
Even with an appearance on NCIS showing it off and a case study that showed a limited Cius deployment saving a Nottingham, England hospital nearly $1.1 million by increasing productivity, Cisco just couldn’t drum up customers.