The Camera Phone Paradox

We were just talking about how some carriers were apparently trying to stop users from saving their camera phone photos. Instead, they were trying to require them to send the photos as MMS messages. Fitting right in with this story is this bit of analysis pointing out that the cost of sharing these photos often outweighs the value of them. In other words, by charging so much to send a photo, the carriers are actively discouraging people from actually using the camera part of the camera phone. This only gets worse if they don’t allow people to store images. Letting users do what they want means that they’ll be able to send photos when necessary, but shouldn’t feel obligated to do so all the time. In fact, the article here suggests that carriers work on better integration between camera phones and SMS/WAP, such as letting a user set up a cheap photo archive, but use SMS to alert their family and friends to it.

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