Research in Motion released the BlackBerry Pearl a couple of weeks ago and by all accounts it is doing incredibly well. So well, in fact, that a recurring them in several of the BlackBerry message boards is that all new BlackBerrys should come with camera.
I, for one, have no intention of buying a BlackBerry without a camera ever again. If I were to break or lose my 7130e before Verizon comes out with a CameraBerry I might have to take that statement back, however, the bigger question is now that CameraBerrys are here to stay, do cameraless BlackBerrys just seem like old school devices that only researchers at Area 51 would use?
I know that there are many die-hard BlackBerry traditionalist that are still upset over the addition of the color display to the BlackBerry that will never buy a CameraBerry, however, my guess is that most BlackBerry users, if given the choice, would overwhelmingly choose a BlackBerry with a camera as compared to one that doesn’t have one.
Why then, would RIM continue to develop next-generation BlackBerrys that don’t have cameras? Thought, in his column over on BlackBerry Cool, has an interesting take on this and I agree with it completely. Simply put, if RIM sells a next-gen cameraless BlackBerry this year, a lot of people will buy it. If they sell a next-gen CameraBerry next year, a lot of people, including many of the ones who bought the cameraless device, will buy the camera bearing device as well.
What does this mean for Research in Motion, who still makes most of its money off of device sales? (We will get the exact percentage tomorrow) They will sell a hell of a lot of new BlackBerrys over the next year or so.
So, to answer our initial question. Do CameraBerrys make cameraless BlackBerrys seem “Ho Hum”? In a word. Yes… And that is exactly why RIM will first come out with a cameraless 8800.
I don’t reckon a non camera BlackBerry would be seen as old school. If anything they’re cooler…..a person who doesn’t need a cameraberry is an adult, the BB’s that have the toys are for kids!!! 🙂
I have to completely disagree. Almost every business person in America uses some type of mobile phone for work and the overwhelming majority of these devices have digital cameras, except, of course BlackBerry users.
Even that will change, however, over the next few years.
Please provide a reference to the studies or a single study, that support(s) your statement about the “overwhelming majority of these devices have digital cameras”. You do have supporting data, don’t you?
I’ll agree that many business people carry camera phones and that some even use them for business purposes, but I would be willing to bet that those phones are personal phones and are used only for the convience of the person that is carrying it, and not provided or required by their company. Few companies, other than those that may deal with the need for transmission of field photos will provide company phones with cameras. Additionally, it’s only been recently that major corporations have allowed camera phones on their property.
I will give you that most people that have cameraphones regardless of if they use them for business or not rarely take pictures with them.
Since I don’t have a reference or a quote about just how many camera phones are out there, take my comment as an opinion and insert “I believe” or “I think” where appropriate.
I wouldn’t go as far as Rob to and say that the overwhelming majority of business people with mobile devices have cameraphones, but I would say probably more do than don’t.
I have done a bit of an informal study for you. I just asked about 20 people or so that sit in the cubes near me to raise their phones up in the air if they are on the company plan. I counted 16 phones. I then asked people with cameraphones to put there phones down. Only 7 phones went down, however, 7 of the remaining 9 were BlackBerrys. 7 of 9 non BlackBerrys were cameraphones…
Another advantage of releasing the models on this schedule is that it keeps the buzz level up for the BlackBerry product line; it keeps attention focused on BB.
With any consumer product line you never want your audience to just kind of forget about you for a while; you always want to keep their attention going back to you.
I have recently upgrade my nokia camera phone to a BB 7130v. One of the many attractions is that the phone doesn’t pretent to be a camera…. If BlackBerry intends to tap into the gadget/popular camera market that is fine. Personally I hope BlackBerry will continue making good and reliable communication devices.
There are a number of HIGH PROFILE blackberry enterprise customers that are used in very high security solutions. SOme of these places forbid cameras.
However – a little known fact: The CAMERA (and I think the memory card feature) can be DISABLED by your company, via the Blackberry Enterprise Server. And I don’t think the blackberry’s security model has been cracked. So it would be POSSIBLE for RIM to standardize on Camera only models, and just allow companies that don’t want Cameras and memory cards (both considered to be security holes) to disable them as soon as they enable the device’s in the business’s email system.
Would allow rim to standardize their manufacturing on a small number of models, and still sell devices to the security-minded organizations.
Although I wouldn’t be surprised if they keep camera only models on the market, even if they are only sold directly to government agencies and other paranoid organizations.
RIM makes most of its money on handset sales. They NEEDED a camera phone to be competitive.
I think that RIM will definitely continue to make cameraless BlackBerry devices and I couldn’t agree more with your point about RIM needing to make a camera phone to stay competitive in the market.
I believe Thought, in his column on BlackBerry Cool, stated that aound 500 millinon of the 600 million mobile phones sold in 2005 have digital cameras.
any self respecting gadget guy knows that all camera phones are worthless quality, and except for some girl flashing at a nascar race or the Derby..(all camera hones need alot of daylight to tak any kind of decent photo) what use is a loq quality photo of a loved one that you can event print in a size of 4×6 ….the video on the Nokia n93 and the daytime pics from the N(# are outstanding i have the phone as a backup in my car is nothing more than an expensive toy…to cant shoot anything at night unless there is very good lighting.
you can see the few video i took at an Aerosmith concert at http://www.tixxalert.blogspot.com
Still, the fact remains that out of the 600 million or so mobile phones sold last year, about 500 million of them were camera phones.
You cannot compare a cameraphone to a digital camera. The phones will loose every time. I agree with all your points. You cannot deny however, that 10s of billions of dollars are spent on camerphones every year and every self respecting gadget guy with a blog about gadgets would be remiss if he didn’t talk about them.
aricraft carrier for the government and he cant have a camera phone but he loves the blackberry and everyone is like oh i still bring mine on if you get caught you get fired easy as that.. yeah losing your job is worth haveing a camera NO.. so why dont they make more non-camera phone knowing that people have jobs like this i garantee that if they did they might sell more expensive phone and more hpones all together..