The Smartphone Sans the Phone – It Had to Happen
I have joked for a long time that the phone part of a smartphone is just a “phone app” for a camera.
Well, the joke has become reality. But the phone app has been left out.
Nikon has announced its new Android-powered Coolpix S800c point-and-shoot camera. In addition to taking those snapshots, you can now upload pictures directly from your camera to Facebook, etc. There is no phone capability, so you have to have a Wi-Fi connection to upload your photos.
When you’re not using your camera to take pictures, you can download apps from Google Play to your camera (again over Wi-Fi only). So now you can play Angry Birds on your camera.
What’s Behind This Move?
Point-and-shoot camera sales have been slumping badly, as the cameras on smartphones become better and better. People are now using their phones to do what they would have one time done on a small, point-and-shoot camera.
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. So Nikon’s solution is to put the same photo-uploading, game-playing capability into the hands of point-and-shoot camera users … all the capability of a smartphone … except the smartphone itself.
You are bound to see more of this. Will this save the consumer point-and-shoot camera market? Personally, I doubt it. But it’s an interesting strategy.
The S800c should hit the stores in September and sell for $350.