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Well, the camera phone in that story is just another effort to attract consumers who are snubbing the latest mobile offerings. Manufacturers hope camera like this will get them back into the picture.
The telecom biz desperately need a pick-me-up. The market is losing momentum as consumers hold up buying new phones. But one gizmo could change all that.
The phone has a built-in camera right here in the hinge. You can actually turn the top of the phone so you can see the image, take a picture, and then send it to your friends.
The camera phone which transmits images in data could breathe new life into wireless.
Greg Tarr, GT Ventures
Sending a picture from my phone to your phone, you know, that’s a very valuable application. Because it appeals to the human need to communicate, especially if you’re away from your wife, your girlfriend, or kids.
Pictures swapping works on existing mobile technology called 2.5G. And it’s already a popular pastime for Asia’s mobile elite.
The camera application has already been a killer application in Japan, so people take pictures with the camera imbedded on their phone, and share them with their friends.
Japan’s J-phone is chalking up strong sales of its camera phones selling more than 100,000 handsets a month.
Its parent company Vodafone is certain pictures will overtake text as the biggest data revenue driver in the next 5 years. Not to miss a bankable trend, the world’s leading mobile leader Nokia is launching its first camera phone, the 7650. The service is expected to be a runaway hit turning into a mass market phenomenon by the end of 2003. But before camera phones can take off, operators have to clear a major hurdle: pricing the pictures.
I think that the pricing is really critical. And frankly the operators have not worked out the pricing. When I speak to the operators in Japan and Korea, they are still very much in an experimental mode to see how much users are willing to pay.
There is little time to play with the price tag, when it can scare away new customers. Who need assurance that camera phones are reliable and affordable, and not just another passing fad.