FLO TV Goes Under; Mobile TV Service Killed By Qualcomm

And just like that, FLO TV is dead. You may not even remember the name if you weren't paying close attention to Qualcomm's rollout last year, but now it matters now. The direct-consumer portable TV service has been axed by parent company Qualcomm, and while the reasons aren't detailed, it's not hard to imagine why. America has never really embraced dedicated mobile TV devices; some people are embracing mobile TV on smartphones considering that they already own the device, but by and large, texting and calling keeps us occupied enough on the go. And when that's not enough, Angry Birds for iPhone keeps us entertained on subway rides.

Qualcomm has this week released a statement that essentially lays FLO TV to rest. They are pulling their products from store shelves and are killing the programming waves in the Spring of next year. Refunds will be made for those who paid for service after Spring 2011, and service to handsets via MediaFLO will continue on without any problems for now.

Qualcomm did say that they're considering trying a different approach on tablets, as those are also on fire right now and more suitable for television viewing with their larger screens. Unfortunately, "some layoffs" are expected from this cut, but Qualcomm is hoping to redeploy as many employees as they can.

Statement From Qualcomm Regarding FLO TV

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As we previously indicated in our July 2010 earnings call, we have been examining strategic opportunities for FLO TV.  We have been engaging in conversations with a wide range of partners for both the network and the spectrum. We are seeing strong interest in using the FLO TV network or spectrum to capitalize on the growing imbalance between mobile data supply and demand, the growth of tablets, and consumer demand for high quality video and print content, and a richer user experience.  While this process continues, we are suspending our direct to consumer sales of new devices.  We anticipate we will maintain the network so that current direct to consumer subscribers will continue to receive FLO programming into Spring 2011. Service provided to handsets purchased through wireless operators is unaffected at this time.  In the event of a discontinuance of service, FLO TV will make appropriate refunds, the details of which will be communicated prior to discontinuation.  While we are working to redeploy impacted employees, we anticipate that there will be some layoffs.