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Is FLO TV Dead? Are Standalone Mobile Gadgets Dead, Period?

PaidContent.org’s Staci Kramer is reporting that Qualcomm is shutting down the direct-to-consumer version of FLO TV, its mobile TV service that provides a broadcast-like experience on the FLO TV Personal TV gadget, in-car systems, and a handful of smartphones. Judging from the FLO TV site, she’s right: It seems to have been scrubbed of all “where to buy” information except for that pertaining to Verizon and AT&T phones, which remain available for now.

FLO TV was–can we speak of it in the past tense yet?–a classic example of the right product at the wrong time. Judged on its merits, it was quite impressive: It delivered live TV with no hiccups, and Qualcomm lined up an impressive roster of big-name content partners. If it had been around a decade ago, it might have been an iPod-like hit. But in the age of plentiful Internet video on smartphones, it felt pricey and a tad retro. And one neat device that could have made it more appealing to more people–Mophie’s FLO TV jacket for iPhones, which was announced in January at CES–hasn’t shipped, and now presumably never will.

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