Nobody Cares about the Specs

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The Flip camcorder, whose small form factor, ease of use, and low pricing made it a huge hit with consumers against giant rivals such as Sony, is stepping up to world of high-definition (HD). Pure Digital Inc. has released the Flip Mino HD in time for the holiday shopping season.

"Saying that 'my camcorder is 1080p and has larger hard drive and its got a larger screen' -- nobody cares about that. What they care about it capturing the everyday moments in their life."

Like its standard-definition cousin, the Flip HD is about the size of a wallet and weighs 3.3 ounces. It can record up to 60 minutes of video. A USB connector allows users to upload video to their computers and to sites like YouTube and MySpace. It can also be connected directly to a TV.

The new Flip HD will sell for $230, making it a bit pricer than the standard-definition version that sells for $180.

The Flip has been wildly popular, selling 1.5 million units. Pure Digital, with only 90 employees, holds a 24 percent share of the camcorder market.

While the pocket camera is popular in its niche, the new model's higher prices may make it buyers think twice when they compare it to a host of traditional stand-alone and video camera competitors.

For instance consumers may opt to pay a lower price for digital cameras with standard video capabilities by the likes of Canon Inc (7751.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Nikon Corp (7731.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Eastman Kodak Co (EK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Or they could pay a little more for a full featured video camera, by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) or Sony.

Kaplan won't release financial data for his privately held San Francisco-based company, but said annual sales are in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

He dismissed the competition as imitators rather than innovators. "It's flattering in some ways but also a bit surprising to see other companies coming out with products that are essentially the Flip." (Editing by Brian Moss)

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