Aside from Samsung’s decision to ban camera phones, of which it makes a few, from its laboratories, and apart from a few massive marketing campaigns, mobile phones with built in cameras have hardly set the world alight. However, that might be changing as a couple of recent incidents show.
Göteborgs-Posten, the Swedish newspaper, published a news item on its homepage illustrated by a photograph taken on a mobile phone. A truck had hit a tram, a nearby reporter managed to snap the scene on his mobile, and he emailed the pictures into the office. A more traditional photographer was despatched, but by the time the pictures were ready two hours later, they were deemed less newsworthy and the lower-resolution pictures were retained.
In Texas, a student was given three days detention after pictures of gang-related activities were found on his mobile phone. We’re reminded of a related story in this week’s Economist regarding a potential backlash against mobile phones in Italy. Despite the incredible rate at which Italians adopted mobile phones (90% penetration after a fairly slow start), a major drawback has come to light: according to a detective agency in Rome, 87% of cases of martial infidelity investigated by its agents have been discovered because of evidence on mobile phones. Presumably with the growth of phone cameras, this is all about to get much more interesting … an racier.