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Thread: Why Camera?

  1. #1
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    Why Camera?

    I am new to this forum, I found it when I heard from a friend that the replacement to the I500 was going to be released. I was real excited to hear that it would have expansion slot, external screen, etc. I am wondering if I am the only one that is VERY disappointed to hear that it will have a camera. I work in industries where camera phones are not allowed into buildings because of risk of compromising designs. Also, many health clubs are refusing to allow camera phones into the building. If the I550 is supposed to be another professional type phone, why is there the need for a camera? If I want a camera (a better one to boot) I will just go get a real digital camera.

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    Welcome tawollen!

    You've come to the best place for information on all things smarphones.

    And I agree 100% with you about building cameras into our phones. I can understand the attraction but way too many of us work and/or go other places where cameras simply are not allowed.

    And the funniest example: Samsung doesn't allow its employees to carry camera phones on the premises. You gotta love it!

    If you haven't seen it before, here is a quick thread on the subject:

    Post Rumors/Release Info Here on I550...

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    Thanks for the info. From reading the other posting it looks like most people are in agreement, get rid of camera on business phone. The one person that said they were in real estate, I have a 4MP camera that is actually SMALLER than my I500 that I carry around everywhere (actually use the I500 case for the camera and stick the phone in my pocket). I hate carrying around a lot of stuff, but there gets to be a limit to convergence.

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    Personally, I love the idea of a megapixel camera in the phone. While it is true that I am in the minority on this site, it is clear that this is not the case in the marketplace. 580 million cell phones will be shipped out this year and 150 million of those will have cameras (this number is only going to get bigger). This site attracts tech minded people, a lot of whom work in cutting edge tech fields where having a camera phone would be a liability. Most consumers, however, donít work in such a strict environment and the disadvantages just arenít there. I live in Manhattan and neither Crunch nor Bally have a policy on the phones (though I admit that if I saw ANY phone ďin useĒ in the locker room, I would be concerned) and even at nightclubs that prohibit photographs, I have never had a bouncer ask to see if my phone had a camera. I own a Sony SLR compact camera that I love, but it isnít always with me, but my phone is and 1mp is usually fine for capturing spontaneous moments, etcÖ All I can say is with a 1mp camera, mp3, and a clam-shell design, Samsung has finally made my dream phone and it had better be here in 2004.

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    Is it becaue people "need" the camera, or just because it is getting hard to find phones without the cameras? If Samsung (and teh other vendors) are going to have all their good phones integrated with cameras, I might have to pick up another I500 just to have as a spare (my touchpad on mine is starting to flake out)

    The funny thing is that I think a lot of people don't even use them after they get them (of the 150million) my girlfriend has one from Verizon and she has used it twice to take pics, and never used the ability to send the photos, so they are stuck on her phone. If cell carriers made it "included' to send the photos, then it might be more useful. I believe with sprint if you get the vision plan, you can send all you want though, correct?

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    Originally posted by tawollen

    The funny thing is that I think a lot of people don't even use them after they get them (of the 150million) my girlfriend has one from Verizon and she has used it twice to take pics, and never used the ability to send the photos, so they are stuck on her phone. If cell carriers made it "included' to send the photos, then it might be more useful. I believe with sprint if you get the vision plan, you can send all you want though, correct?
    Thats the biggest problem I have. They always show people sending pictures with their camera phone to someone else, which seems like a good idea. What they dont mention, it cost about $.50 to send a picture.

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by tawollen

    The funny thing is that I think a lot of people don't even use them after they get them (of the 150million) my girlfriend has one from Verizon and she has used it twice to take pics, and never used the ability to send the photos, so they are stuck on her phone. If cell carriers made it "included' to send the photos, then it might be more useful. I believe with sprint if you get the vision plan, you can send all you want though, correct?
    LOL--the reason why nearly every samsung phone now has a camera on it is exactly the answer to your question. sprint wants a higher ARPU(avg. revenue per user per month)so they tell the manufacturers that they must include a camera, or better yet a video camera, hoping that most people, once they bought a video phone will plunk down an extra $15 for unlimited vision with+$5 for picture mail+$5 for video mail, etc. the bottom line is the camera is there b/c sprint wants a higher arpu, and doesnt give a @#$! about their business customers who would've bought this otherwise.
    Last edited by i330; 05-15-2004 at 08:56 PM.
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    camera phones are huge in japan and many focus groups are wanting to have cameras on their phones. this is the trend at this point and the manufacturers are going with what makes money. the treo 6 will have a version with no camera to address the issues the original poster mentioned.

    personally, i enjoy the camera on my G. i have used it on production sets to keep continuity. i dont have the luxury of lugging a real camera around so for this purpose it works well for me.

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    Registered User dstrauss's Avatar
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    Originally posted by i330
    LOL--the reason why nearly every Samsung phone now has a camera on it is exactly the answer to your question. sprint wants a higher ARPU(avg. revenur per user per month)so they tell the manufacturers that they must include a camera, or better yet a video camera, hoping that most people, once they bought a video phone will plunk down an extra $15 for unlimited vision with+$5 for picture mail+$5 for video mail, etc. the bottom line is the camera is there b/c sprint wants a higher arpu, and doesnt give a @#$! about their business customers who would've bought this otherwise.
    i330 is dead on. It's all about marginal revenue gain, and each sucker the signs up for picture mail is virtually free revenue, because about after a dozen pictures, you realize the phone camera is crap, and it takes forever to send through Sprints convoluted service (upload to their site, sends message for recipient to go to their site and look at the picture, go to site, and see the picture is "blurry/hazy/out of focus/too dark/whatever" so Grandma says "don't send that again" - get my drift?

    Maybe generation 3 camera phones will be okay (1.3megpixel plus flash) then it will be like the old days of carrying those tiny disposable flash cameras around all the time. For now, it just lines Sprint's pockets, so EVERYONE will get a camera phone whether they want one or not.
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    I think calling the people who sign up for picture mail a ďsuckerĒ is a bit harsh. Iím not offended, but I canít tell you how many times Iíve been out buying something like clothes or a gift alone and wanted a second opinion. For me, this is worth an extra $5 a month.

    For those worried about the increased cost to their phone plans, am I wrong in assuming that you could just download the pictures from the i550 right to your computer?

    As for Sprint and the rest ramming features like a camera down our throats, it is usually very difficult (though not impossible) to sell the consumer something they donít want. Still, I do sympathize with the people who donít want a camera integrated as the Treo 600, i700, and now the i550 (3 of the best pda phones out there) give you no option to go without it.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by thalassicus
    I think calling the people who sign up for picture mail a ďsuckerĒ is a bit harsh. Iím not offended, but I canít tell you how many times Iíve been out buying something like clothes or a gift alone and wanted a second opinion. For me, this is worth an extra $5 a month.

    For those worried about the increased cost to their phone plans, am I wrong in assuming that you could just download the pictures from the i550 right to your computer?

    As for Sprint and the rest ramming features like a camera down our throats, it is usually very difficult (though not impossible) to sell the consumer something they donít want. Still, I do sympathize with the people who donít want a camera integrated as the Treo 600, i700, and now the i550 (3 of the best pda phones out there) give you no option to go without it.
    the point is that this is meant as a business device, and most businessmen do not want some toy camera on their device.
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    Originally posted by i330
    the point is that this is meant as a business device, and most businessmen do not want some toy camera on their device.
    i330, I think we are of the exact same sentiment when it comes to having a camera as part of our cell phones: I think we are both strongly against it. In fact, I was the first person to vote NO! in this poll.

    However, I am constrained to admit that you are making a possibly false assumption: smartphones like the forthcoming Samsung SPH-i550 are not business devices, they are businessperson devices.

    Allow me to explain what I mean.

    When a large company is going to issue cell phones for their employees, chances are they are going to go for the least expensive option. And that, almost by definition, is a "simple" cell phone that just makes and receives phone calls. Granted, they may provide their senior executives something more and/or allow other employees to "purchase up" to another model of cell phone from the same services provider at the employees' personal expense, but the bulk of the order is going to be with that relatively cheap "simple" cell phone.

    The people who buy smartphones, on the other hand, are mostly individuals who can afford to purchase the "toys" that we like and can get the most productivity from. Mind you, I am not saying that my Kyocera 7135 or your Samsung 1330 or whoever's Treo 600 is a plaything -- I use my smartphone for business just like most of the rest of you -- but I am saying that most people (even among those who can easily afford one) see a smartphone as an "extra" and not as a "necessity". Thus, when we set in management meetings to make our decisions about what cell phones to get company-wide, we are usually outvoted 3-to-1 to get the "cheapo" phone from the service provider: the reply to us is always, "most people won't use all the extra functionality of a smartphone."

    So we go out and buy our smartphone ourselves -- why not, we can afford it -- even as our company buys the "cheapo" phone.

    But then as we purchase the smartphone, the service provider is not only selling it to us, the businessperson, but also to "early adopter" who does want all the "neat" functionality -- including a camera -- included in his cell phone.

    I guess what I am trying to say, only saying it so awkwardly, is that the reason not to want a camera in your smartphone is because it is a buiness device. Basically, that is the reason I don't want a camera in my cell phone; there are simply too many places I can or could be required to go mostly per my business or professional duties where a camera is not allowed. But the "problem" is that most businesses are not looking to buy smartphones in the first place. When the vendor or service provider thinks about the "typical" smartphone purchaser, they are thinking about the "early adopter" who primarily just wants the latest technology regardless. The perception may be unfair and in someways inaccurate -- and for the record, I think it is inaccurate to a slight degree -- but it helps explain why just about every new smartphone these days is including a camera.

    Indeed, I think this helps to explain why Samsung is making smartphones only with cameras , even though as a business they themselves don't even permit camera phones on their premises. No Samsung smartphones for Samsung employees: this is probably not perceived as a problem if it is felt that Samsung employees by and large don't want and/or need smartphones.

    And again, unless you think I am flaming you, i330, in sentiment, I wholeheartedly agree with you. Moreover, I will say that the vendors are shortchanging a sizeable percentage of their (potential) market by including cameras in their smartphones. It's just that I think thalassicus may represent a bigger piece of the smartphone market than we care to acknowledge.

    If he does, my Kyocera 7135 may (have to) be my last smartphone. It's the service providers and vendors of smartphones who insist on including cameras in them who lose.
    Last edited by William; 05-17-2004 at 12:54 PM.

  13. #13
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    I hear where you are coming from, but imho it seems that the average user who wants the latest technology isnt going to shell out $700 for an i550, rather they will go pick up an a600 for the cool factor plus a camera, and then maybe will supplement that with a zire 71 if needed. (just go to sprintusers.com and see for yourself how all of the bleeding edge people dont consider a palm pilot a prerequisite to buying a phone) on the other hand many corporations may want to purchase pdaphones in bulk, if it will increase productivity in their business and day to day operartions. there's a reason why sprint advertises camera phones like the 8100 in a regular newspaper, and a treo or i500 in the wall street journal-i believe it's because sprint knows who is going to get such a phone. Also as rave once told us the camera wasnt put in b/c samsung wanted it there, but sprint wanted it there, as they obviously belive it will raise their arpu.
    howver they are cannabalizing what i think would've been their prime buyers of the product in the process...
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    Originally posted by thalassicus
    I think calling the people who sign up for picture mail a ďsuckerĒ is a bit harsh. Iím not offended, but I canít tell you how many times Iíve been out buying something like clothes or a gift alone and wanted a second opinion. For me, this is worth an extra $5 a month.
    No offense intended. Using the term "sucker" was not meant as a pejorative, but more a description of the game Sprint's playing. You can visit any fan site, weblog, or forum on the Internet, and the quality of even the best pictures taken with ANY cell phone are marginal at best. What you're using yours for is the highest and best use for such cameras. But that's not what Sprint's marketing - they want you to take the family birthday pictures and send them to Grandma - and she'll be lucky to be able to identify them as her grandchildren.
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    Originally posted by dstrauss
    No offense intended. Using the term "sucker" was not meant as a pejorative, but more a description of the game Sprint's playing. You can visit any fan site, weblog, or forum on the Internet, and the quality of even the best pictures taken with ANY cell phone are marginal at best. What you're using yours for is the highest and best use for such cameras. But that's not what Sprint's marketing - they want you to take the family birthday pictures and send them to Grandma - and she'll be lucky to be able to identify them as her grandchildren.
    Bingo--wake me up when they come out with at least a 3MP camera w/3x optical zoom and flash...
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    Time to wake up!


  17. #17
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    Close Iceman, but not there yet. First, whose ever heard of the AU network? Second, no 3x optical zoom. Still, much better than the norm. Maybe over the next hill....
    Dale2 - The "P" in PDA is for Personal. There is no "best" PDA.
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  18. #18
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    cameras everywhere are inevitable

    Cameras in things are unstoppable. My friend has a Sony Clie with a camera in the hinge, are they going to ban organizers? My spouse has the Sanyo VM 4500 cameraphone and uses it in the health club (taking calls? making videos? who knows?!) all the time. Cameras in eyeglasses will some day break out from hip MIT cyborg experiments.

    You should get in trouble for using a camera (guy in Britain gets a year in jail), but trying to ban them is futile. Maybe the mandatory "Say Cheese" noise that (I believe) Japanese phones must make will stick.

    When 4GB expansion cards are the norm, the default will be to have the camera record the last 30 minutes of your life in an endless spool.

    Sure it's an Orwellian surveillance society, but the difference is everyone has the tools, not just the state.

    I can't wait for the sph-i550, I'm tired of my scratched up sph-i300!
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    Early Adopter

    Well though I am in the minority I thought I would give my opinion. I for one love the idea of cameras on phones. When i first got my i500 i was upset by the fact that it lacked 2 things. Expandable memory and a camea. When i show people how powerful my phone is they are appalled that with a $500 price tag it doesn't have a camera. When there $50 phone does. I do understand the argument against cameras however i think that the solution is to offer the option of including the camera or not. This creates manufacturing problems but it really is the only solution because most people buying a top of the line phone consider a camera as a minimum requirement. With 3G networks coming out 1meg pixel cameras and video will become more the norm. This is good though since hopefully PDA phones will become main stream enough that every new one dosn't have to be cutting edge and include a camera. Buisness people may have to wait for the first "economy" PDA phones to come out because those may actually drop the camera.

  20. #20
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    Well here are my feelings.

    While I don't require a camera and wouldn't miss it, it does greatly add to the value...and fun...of the device. My roommate has a camera phone, and as long as you operate it with some intelligence, you can get okay pictures. Also, I don't think anyone thinks it should replace a regular camera...but it is cool sometimes to snap a quick picture when the moment calls for it.

    The fact that this one has a flash is even better.
    Now while I admit I won't be using it alot because I not a camera person...I guess I'm coming from the "Why not?" end of this discussion, but I can see where your "Why?" argument is coming from.

    But I do disagree on some things. First all, I guarantee no one at Sprint or Samsung uses the term "business phone". A high-end phone, maybe, but for the most part if it sells it sells and if it doesn't it doesn't. And if it is a business phone, then it has some very unneccessary features on it (too much RAM, two screens, 16 bit color, MP3/video playback?). Like the one poster said, this one is too expensive to be for business...let face it...all you need is Pocket PC/Palm OS, a decent amount of memory, and maybe an expansion slot. I'm sure there are plenty of phones out there right now that do these things without a camera, yet somehow people act like the camera in a phone is just as common as the battery in a phone. Which kinda leads to my next point...

    Not on this particular thread, but one of the threads about this phone here and another forum on this site...people are harping and harping about the fact that this has a camera. Actually this particular thread has been a civil thread, but it still needs to be said:
    There are other phones on this planet WITHOUT cameras! It is not the end of the world! If you can't bring this camera to work or whatever, then this is not for you.

    People act like it is so bad that phones have cameras. I've heard all the excuses ("It's supposed to be a business phone") and such. But what it really is about is you want this phone! A new phone that does new things...most of which you will NOT be using for business purposes. And that looks cool too. Because if you didn't, you'd be satisfied with the phones that are out right now (6035, 7135, i500, any Treo). What would you be doing with this phone for business that you couldn't do with any of the current phones? [/rant]

    I have had a 6035 for 2 years and I've been waiting for the perfect phone to come along, and this is it! Samsung wanted to bring a phone with the best of today's features, and cameras in phones are hot. If they didn't include some of the other unnessessary features like MP3/video playback and the SDIO slot, you'd probably be angry.

    I just think it is crazy to ask that Samsung take out a major feature of the phone for the few, when it is obvious that this will probably be a HEAVILY promoted phone for Sprint...they won't have a problem selling this thing. Plus I have a feeling that most of the people that don't like the camera will still get it once it comes out. If you don't think a 1 MP camera WITH FLASH and with enough memory to record some video is just as major a feature as everything else, then you must be insane. If anything, this is the number one feature of the phone (along with media playback) that'll sell to the masses.

    It will suck that I won't be able to take it some places but I don't care I'll deal...similar to not being able to take food into a movie theatre or being able to put metal in a microwave (I know that example is VERY simplfied for those that work in "no-camera" work environments, but you get my point.)

    IMO, this phone shuts down any phone available right now and that will be available this coming year. I'll sell my soul to buy it!

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