updated 11:07 am EDT, Thu June 14, 2012
Cisco knew Cius had no chance well before dropping it
Cisco knew late last year that its enterprise-oriented Cius tablet stood no chance against Apple's iPad, long before the company discontinued support for the tablet. Speaking with reporters from Network World, among others, Cisco CEO John Chambers said that the company should have killed off the Cius nine months ago. The company, Chambers said, will continue to focus its efforts on developing collaboration software across multiple platforms.
In dropping the Cius, Cisco cited the rise of BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device to work, in the enterprise sector. Speaking with reporters, Chambers reaffirmed BYOD's role in the Cius' demise, and he said the company realized Apple's momentum in the tablet market nine months ago but continued to push Cius as an alternative. Cisco's internal numbers point to the iPad holding a dominant 63 percent market share position among tablets used in the workplace, and the Cius was never able to make a dent in that share.
Cisco announced the Cius in 2010, touting it as an enterprise-specific tablet solution with a heavy focus on videoconferencing. The Cius launched in July of 2011 at a $750 price point, and the company soon after updated the tablet with a relatively small collection of free and paid apps.
Despite apparently weak sales, Cisco promised more apps and Android 4.0 compatibility for the Cius, as well as two new Cius tablets scheduled for 2012. Those tablets failed to materialize, though, and the company announced last month that it would discontinue production of the Cius and exit the tablet sector entirely.
The company will now focus on five market priorities: routing, switching and services; collaboration; data center virtualization and cloud; video; and business process architectures. Future collaboration offerings from Cisco are expected to operate across a range of platforms, including Apple's iPad.