Cisco Joining the Tablet Game with Android-based Cius

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Cisco is planning on jumping into the tablet computer market in early 2011 with its Cius. The tablet device will run Google’s Android platform, include a camera for video chats, and will be targeted at business users.

Cisco is calling the Cius “an ultra-portable, mobile collaboration business tablet that offers access to essential business applications and technologies.”

Cisco’s Cius tablet

The tablet will incude a 7-inch touch-sensitive display, Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G data connectivity, and Bluetooth 3.0 support. It will also include Cisco’s collaboration apps such as WebEx, along with the company’s own secure VPN client.

Cisco’s Cius promo video

Cisco looks to be targeting the button-up crowd with its tablet device, and is clearly shying away from words like “magical,” which is exactly how Apple describes its own iPad multimedia tablet. With the current popularity of the iPad, Cisco’s move to set itself outside of Apple’s target market was probably wise.

Cisco isn’t saying yet how much the Cius will cost, or exactly when it will hit store shelves and corporate IT departments.

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Lee Dronick

Who came up with the name Cius, the artist formerly known as Prince?Do they have a pronunciation guide for the name?


Do they have a pronunciation guide for the name?

Without watching the video, tell me how to pronounce the name. This is FAIL. Remember Cuil?

Next in the FAIL actions are:
1. Lack of price info.
2. Lack of ETA.

My immediate thought was: another tablet that will not ever make it to market (I am looking at you, HP).


I wonder if Google can remotely install/delete apps on it too?

Lee Dronick

Without watching the video, tell me how to pronounce the name. This is FAIL. Remember Cuil?

“See us” If they wanted to crush the competition they should have named it “Zeus” See the video, the pertinent stuff starts about 1 minute 50 seconds in to the video.


A couple of observations:  First, there is no practical 4G network, as Sprint’s rollout in a few second tier cities does not a network make, and there won’t be practical 4G networks until Verizon and AT&T begin deploying their respective LTE networks in 2011; and (2) it would have been a bit more impressive to see the Cius actually do something.

And one more thing, Android and the apps that run on it are designed to make money for Google by transmitting to Google location-based information and other private information to Google and/or its advertising partners.  What CIO is going to tolerate that?  Can you imagine a CIO letting Google and/or its partners know the location of his company’s c-suite executives or other key employees?  Or know what those employees are searching for?  Or who’s in they’re communicating with?  Or who’s in their address book in the cloud?  And, if you strip that out of Android all of that precious personal information so that Google get nothing that it can sell to advertisers, then Android not only doesn’t make money for Google, it becomes a loss for each Cius that doesn’t send the precious personal information to Google.

For a few Cius devices here or there, that won’t be a big deal, but if other Android vendors start making versions of Android that don’t report to Google, Google could have a big problem.  But perhaps Cius won’t be a problem for Google.  In the video, supra, Cisco says that Cius will use the Android MarketPlace, and one of Google?s contractual requirements for the MarketPlace is that you must install Android with Google’s services that operate according to Google’s disclosure policy, which is also known as its Privacy Policy.  Also, to get Google’s support and enhancements to Android, you are also contractually obliged to accept Google’s services for Android with Google’s Privacy Policy.

So what is Cisco going to do?  Forgo the Android MarketPlace and Google’s development and enhancement of Android?  Or accept Google’s Android with a Privacy Policy and disclosure of personal information that large enterprises will find repugnant? 

It doesn’t sound like a business model to me.

Lee Dronick

Good points Nemo


Another problem for Cius is that the Android MarketPlace by Google’s own admission uses a post hoc security model, where malware is only identified and removed from the MarketPlace and deleted from an Android phone, after Android’s users report an instance of malware to Google.  No CIO could possible tolerate his companies mobile devices being exposed to such an inadequate post hoc security model.  Moreover, the type of malware for industrial espionage isn’t likely to be reported to Google, because it won’t affect most users:  no accounts will be breached, no bot nets established.  Just the surreptitious stealing of company secrets.

Is this what Cisco intend to sell to its large enterprise customers?


You might be surprised at who would still buy something like this in spite of all the objections and caveats raised by Nemo.


...and it also occurs to me that since many people don’t read the privacy policies they won’t even know about all the info they are providing. I guess my point is that there is a high enough level of ignorance out there that this could be a really big seller.

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