Things to know when buying a Camera Phone
By Kim Komando
If you believe that
camera cell phones
are just a fad and will go the way of the hula hoop and leisure suit, well,
I believe you are wrong.
I'm not the only one that loves these
gadgets. In 2003, more than 80 million camera cell phones (also known as
cell phone cameras) were sold worldwide. According to InfoTrends/CAP
Ventures, a tech research group, the number sold is expected to hit 150
million in 2004 and 380 million by 2006.
It's easy to dismiss camera phones as a mere
novelty. You might think they're only good for capturing spur of the
moment events — like when you see Little Richard at the bowling alley,
or your girlfriend's new beau making a slob of himself at the diner. Don't be fooled.
Camera phones have
real-world business applications, too. Real-estate agents are using camera phones
to give them an edge on the competition. In booming markets, houses can
be snatched up in less than a day. Using camera
phones, agents can
quickly send pictures of a house to their clients.
Customers can take pictures of busted fixtures
or broken equipment and send them to a repair specialist, ensuring the
correct parts are brought along. Likewise, a repairperson can snap a
picture of a part to his or her supplier to see if it's in stock.
There is endless potential for this new
technology. There's no question that camera phones don't rival
stand-alone units. However, they make up for it by instantly sharing a
photograph without using a computer. If you're considering purchasing a
cell phone for your business, there are four things to know.
1. Versatility is a big key.
Downloading pictures from a digital camera can
be limiting. Basically, you have to connect the camera directly to
a computer or printer to view or print your photographs. Camera cell phones give you a wider
range of options. You can e-mail the pictures, upload them to a
Web site or send them to other phones. Let's look at how a real-estate agent
might use the different options. After visiting a house, the agent
could e-mail pictures to a potential buyer. Since this is an
e-mail, the agent can incorporate text, explaining some of the
pictures. This is useful to point out striking features in the
The agent also can use the camera
phone to directly upload pictures to a Web site. Potential buyers
could check the Web site daily for any updates. Some wireless
carriers give customers free Web space; others use third parties. If a client uses the same wireless
carrier and has a camera phone, the agent can send pictures
directly to client's cell phone. This is the ultimate in expediency.
The agent can then call the client to see if there is interest. Pictures can't be sent between camera
phones with different carriers. For example, a
can't send a picture to an
AT&T Wireless phone. The different
wireless networks are working on this and hope to have a solution
This is a dated/archived article please follow the links, provider web pages
and original sources for current info and pricing.