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Is it a Camera or a Cell Phone?

Techstination feature for Thursday, January 20, 2005

Is it a camera or a cell phone? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Like lots of other cell phones being sold these days, Sony Ericsson's S710 has a built in digital camera. But unlike many others…it is designed to really feel like a camera. Sony Ericsson President Miles Flint….

"The S710 as it's called in North America is very much what we call the dual front concept. It's a phone one side, a camera the other side and it swivels open. And it has the controls for the camera exactly where you would expect to find them on a camera."

Complete with a lens cover….and a slot for a Memory Stick. That means you can simply insert the Memory Stick into a card reader to transfer photos to a PC…or to a store kiosk for printing. You can also use infrared or a wireless Bluetooth connection. While you can get decent snapshots with the camera's 1.3 megapixel resolution… there are some higher resolution camera phones arriving. The S710 can also play stereo MP3 music…which makes the Memory Stick slot even more useful. Like all of Sony Ericsson's models, the phone is GSM only…meaning it can't be sold by Verizon Wireless or Sprint. What are the chances that will change?

"We found it increasingly or very difficult to make money in that market. We exited it and there's no active discussion or analysis about whether to get back into it."

Sony Ericsson President Miles Flint. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.