It's the end of the line for Cisco's Android-based Cius tablet, the company's OJ Winge, senior vice-president, TelePresence Technology Group, revealed in a blog post last week.
"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 wrote. "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 "double down" [[artnid: 425809| on its cross-platform, mobile-friendly Jabber software, which works across iOS, BlackBerry, Windows and, soon, Android tablets, and its WebEx collaboration and videoconferencing offerings.
Cisco began taking orders for the Cius in March 2011. The touchscreen device has a 7-inch display and runs a 1.6GHz Intel Z650 Atom CPU. The device was intended not just as an enterprise-friendly tablet but as a replacement for traditional IP handsets.
In Australia, Telstra was the first to offer the Cius in October last year.
Winge cited the Cisco IBSG Horizons Study, which surveyed 600 IT and business leaders in the US and showed the increased acceptance of "bring your own device" (BYOD) in enterprises. Ninety five per cent of respondents indicated their organisations accepted BYOD "in some way, shape or form in the workplace". "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," Winge wrote.
Telsyte senior analyst Rodney Gedda said that the Cisco Cius had "been facing competing forces from iPad and Android tablets even from before it was launched". "People are bringing their own tablets into the workplace … so why would companies want to invest in a tablet for end user computing when a lot of people have their own? That's one aspect to it." The aspect Gedda was cited was market readiness to replace standard desk phones with what's seen as a more complicated device.
"[Cisco] might have thought that because it has a strong presence in IP handsets people would naturally progress to a tablet end point, but that doesn't seem to be the case."
Gedda said that it seems likely that most tablets in enterprises will be "off-the-shelf type devices." "
"Whether they're actually purchased by the company or brought in by staff as in BYOD. They're likely to be the popular models be that an iPad or a Motorola or other Android tablet."
"The proliferation of tablets in the enterprise will be devices that people are used to using."
"Perhaps Cisco didn't see the tsunami of BYOD coming," Gedda said.
Rohan Pearce is the editor of Techworld Australia. Contact him at rohan_pearce at idg.com.au.
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