Camera Phone Craze

One of my difficulties dealing with obtaining a new phone [not that I’m yet ready to do this, but I usually keep track of what is available for when the time comes] is that I DON’T want a camera in my phone. There are many reasons why I don’t want one [such as: 1) they cost more, 2) I can’t bring them into the office most times, 3) the quality sucks, 4) I would never use one even if the phone I wanted came with one…] but these days, most phone manufactures and service providers seem to offer two types of phones: super cheap crappy phones and phones with cameras [which can also be crappy and cheap…].

Why can’t I get a high-quality smart phone without the camera? Or, a Bluetooth-capable phone without the camera? I don’t want a camera, so why should I have to pay for it? Why should I have to buy a phone that I have to leave in the car or swap out when I go to certain customers?

Does anyone else have any thoughts or opinions?

3 thoughts on “Camera Phone Craze”

  1. Most providers of business-level smart phones do have camera-less versions of their phones. Sometimes these don’t show up on their b2c (consumer) web sites, but are only available through their b2b (corporate) channels.

    For example, the Treo 650 is available w/o a camera; the HP iPAQ hw6500 series will be available in both camera and non-camera versions; and most of the HTC-made Windows Mobile 5 phones that are about to ship will have both available, specifically for the workplace privacy/confidentiality/security concerns you allude to.

    I understand that you have specific reasons why you can’t use a camera phone. That being said, the rest of your reasons seem like sour grapes to me. In general, the camera doesn’t affect the overal cost of the phone very much, as the parts they use are available for pennies in quantities that phone manufacturers buy. And while the quality is certainly not up to any digicam anybody would pay real money for these days, that’s not really the point. The ubiquity of image capture makes a lot of things possible that are quite cool…ever have your insurance agent tell you to keep a disposable camera in your glove box so you can take pictures of an accident scene? That’s a lot easier with a camera phone. Also good for memory aids…like remembering what level of a parking garage you’re parked in, or what room of a hotel you’re staying in…of course, I may be the ONLY person who’s forgotten anything like that before…taking pictures of a part that needs replacing so I can show it to somebody at Home Depot, etc.

    So, hopefully, you’ll be able to get what you need, and the rest of us who don’t have business security issues can still get what we want, too. But don’t expect a big discount on your non-camera smart phone; since they’ll sell more of the camera versions, you may even have to pay a premium not to get one.

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  2. So you’re saying that I’m just whining? Well, I could be. However, it seems to me that I don’t really want a do-everything device. Can I just not have a camera phone because I just plain don’t want one? I like discrete devices: one device for this purpose, one for that. I usually carry a small digital camera around with me anyway [and leave it in the car where I can’t bring it into the building] for eventualities like you mention – and spontaneous photography.

    Besides: I’d tolerate a camera on a PDA for something like that… of course, I’d have to carry two and keep them in sync for those locations I couldn’t bring cameras…

    My biggest complaint, of course, is that none of the phones that I want come cameraless unless I buy outside of my provider… and that’s expensive!

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  3. Yeah, I think you’re just whining, aside from the security thing, because, well, nobody’s gonna FORCE you to USE a cameraphone as a camera, and like I said, the actual cost to you for the CCD and lens is minimal.

    Of course, one of the things you’re facing right now is that the platform vendor (with whom I THINK you’re familiar) announced a new version of the phone OS SEVERAL MONTHS before any shipping products were available. So what you really want is a version “5″ phone when only “2003″ phones area available. Once the “5″ phones start shipping in quantity, you’ll be golden. And I’m sure that your provider’s Business sales channel can accommodate your needs.

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