Can someone give me a really good explanation as to why Research in Motion has yet to come out with a BlackBerry with a built-in digital camera?
When I started this blog almost two years ago, one of the top requests that many BlackBerry users around the world had was to add a digital camera to a BlackBerry that allows you to send pictures as attatchments. Nearly two years later this is still one of the biggest requests and I have no idea why RIM is so reluctant to go down this road.
Simply put, the same reason why your camera phone is taken away or strictly prohibited in many offices, facilities, and production environments.
The Blackberry is a business device. The whole camera element is a ‘nice to have’ and really serves more of a function to the consumer market. Government workers make up a very large chunk of the install-base of Blackberries, I highly doubt most of them are permitted to carry cameraphones either. Even refineries prohibit any type of camera on-site without hot permits.
My question is why people keep asking this question when the answer is the same every time…
I disagree with L. It is very obvious that BlackBerry devices are pushing into the mainstream consumer enviroment. RIM needs to make some models that have a camera/MP3 player/overall multimedia device. No one says that every single model has to have all these features. Besides, the places that are going to restrict camera phones most-likely have accepted standard devices to choose from. They just don’t add them to their standards list.
The largest area of growth for the BlackBerry is got to be the consumer market. Time to make something the consumers want and are asking for.
Hold on a while longer … something is in the works. Most likely from TMO or Cingular.
L. It’s just my opinion but I think that your logic is flawed. What you are saying basically is becasue some companies don’t allow camera phones in their organization, RIM cannot ever make a BlackBerry with a digital camera. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other.
I actaully LIKE the fact that that my newly purchased 8700c (got it two days ago, very addicted already) DOES NOT have a camera.
Camera’s add a level of complexity and cost to the device that is simply NOT worth the image it takes. I mean, have you ever seen a GOOD phone picture? I want to take a picture, I bring my trusty Nikon.
Heinrich: I appreciate what you’re saying…and there’s no doubt that the quality of cell phone cameras is rather mediocre and for good picture quality, one needs a digital camera.
That being said, the value of having a camera built into your phone is this:
1) Generally, it’s more available…most people carry their cell phone with them everywhere, but most do not do so with their good digital camera. The best camera is the one you actually have when you need or want to take a picture. So a cell phone camera can come in very handy when you see something that you spontaneously decide to take a picture of, and don’t have your digicam around.
2) The connectivity issue. For me one of the huge advantages of a camera phone is that I can snap some sort of picture…something fun, something silly, something interesting, etc…and then immediately send it to either another cell phone or even email it to someone’s computer. My wife and I have a lot of fun sometimes exchanging pictures while we are each at our respective workplaces during the day. One day we were both out shopping but in separate cars, and we each went to a different pet store for supplies, but we each some some cute critters and it was nice to take a few pics and send those to each other. The list of circumstances where it is fun and enjoyable to be able to do that goes on and on. I’m sure so many people out there have their own stories.
But my point is this: connectivity is a huge power to put into something that takes pictures. That is one major advantage to a cell phone camera.
Bottom line: sure, most people don’t need a camera in their cell phone, but it sure is great to have it.
As for RIM, I do believe that one day they will put a camera into a BB…the pressure from the market seems too great. They already are going to put an mp3 player with removable memory into a BB, and at one time the same objections were raised about those features. And the fact that for now that is the only leaked new model, does not mean that there will not be another one this year with a camera. I feel it is inevitable.
I agree wholeheartedly with you Thought. I think that one thing people who think a BlackBerry with a camera is just a horrible idea overlook is the fact that RIM can still make models that don’t have cameras.
Any concerns about security or not being able to take a BlackBerry with a camera into companies that don’t allow them are easily solved by just not buying a BlackBerry with a camera on it.
I agree with you on this Robb. If they came out with a model with a camera they would be bought up like crazy by consumers. As long as you can do PIM sync, I don’t think the masses really care about “all the cool applications” one can install on the Treo. All the while having that Treo reset itself all the time. Give them a BB with a cameran and it will sell.
If you build it they will come! It’s SO much easier to set up the BB to get push email through the BIS. The Treo’s POP clients fail horribly in this regard!
I would definitely like to have a BB with a camera…
Ok, I thought about this issue for quite a while before responding. I see Blackberry being unwilling to give up the idea of “workhorse tool”, when compared to the Treo “multimedia device”.
However, if Blackberry would do it, they could make a model WITH camera, and a model WITHOUT camera, just like PalmOne did with the Treo 600 and 650!
Also, pictures can be used as a business tool – when assessing damage in the field, when doing any form of inspection, or when a problem occours with any form of wiring. The cameras these days can be 1.3 megapixels or even 2 megapixels – regular digital cameras had that not too long ago.
For those of us that think that a BlackBerry with a built in digital camera is a good idea, it looks like we’ve convinced the folks over at Research in Motion.
As someone who sells Blackberries, I think I can answer why. RIM has an agreement with the US government that their phones will not have a camera (among other things).
US government sales make up a full 10%+ of RIM’s yearly income. They CANNOT even come close to losing such a large number of contracts. You now also know why the US Government nearly stepped in during RIM’s recent court battle. It’s a two way street, written in blood with voodoo chicken bones, with multiple agencies.
RIM is trying to get around their contractual obligations by putting a barrier between their corporate side and their ‘lifestyle’ side.
I think actually the agreement is that the devices that RIM supplies to the Fed will be cameraless. This, however, does not preclude RIm from creating alternative BlackBerry lines that do have camera’s.
I think that the announcment that RIM is going to release a BlackBerry with not only a digital camera, but with GPS and removable media, which are also not aloud in some gevernment offices illustates this clearly.