FLO TV Could Be Shut Down And Sold Off

It's always sad to see a startup, or a good idea, go belly-up. But in this high-pace world of technological innovation, it happens more often than not. It's tough to gain traction in today's world, with one thing after another begging for consumer dollars. Such was the case with Qualcomm's FLO TV. It launched with a huge marketing push, and in theory, the idea was sound. People love television, and people are constantly on the move. So it made sense to think that people may enjoy TV on the go.

But the problems were numerous. For one, people didn't seem interested in buying a dedicated portable television. It's one extra device to carry around, and many smartphones these days already have access to television services. And then there was the monthly cost. People just aren't interested in paying more monthly fees for a service they aren't elated about, and FLO TV's limited channel selection and limited reach kept it from ever gaining mass appeal. Even after price drops on the FLO TV device, adoption was still slow. Mobile TV is rather huge in many nations (Japan comes to mind), but it has never truly caught on in America for one reason or another. And even FLO TV couldn't buck that trend.

Now, it's being reported that FLO TV could be completely shutdown, with the 700MHz spectrum used to distribute the service to be sold to the highest bidder. CEO Paul Jacobs made the remarks during a recently conference call with analysts, and that's on top of the existing restructuring plan that is already underway. He stated that in regard to possible options, they "include, but are not limited to, operating the FLO TV network under a new wholesale service; sale to, or joint venture with, a third party; and/or the sale of the spectrum licenses and the discontinuance of the operation of the network."

It's never fun to look at things like this, but it just goes to show that the consumer cannot simply be bought with marketing. The same concern is real for 3D. Are consumers really buying into 3D for the long haul? Will 3D be in this same situation a year from now? Time will tell.