Vacation planning is fun, but I often realize that we’ve left something at home after buckling my seat belt! On our recent holiday across the UK and US, we initially felt pangs of guilt when we realized that we left our 6 Megapixel digital camera at home. We muttered under our breath of potentially missed photo opportunities to permanently recordthis trip on Facebook but when we looked at our smartphones and their 8 Megapixel cameras, we realize that we had our saviors in our hands
Smartphones, with their numerous features such as email, applications and productivity tools have become indispensable and it turned out that their good camera was another reason to pack even lighter. And I noticed that we weren’t the only ones who snapped up memories on smartphones. Tourists from all around the world fished out varieties of smartphones to point, click and simultaneously tell the world of fancy foods, historical monuments and long lost friends.
One might call it fortuitous that Nokia launched its latest Lumia series phone with a 41 Megapixel camera at the same time of our holiday. Or could one say that Nokia’s announcement has sounded the death knell for the average digital camera? Does this mean that the likes of Olympus, Canon, Nikon etc will suffer the same fate as Eastman Kodak and the Polaroid camera did when they didn’t see the digital camera hurling like an express train? Kodak has become a business school case-study of ‘evolve or perish’ where new technologies wiped the old business models of flash photography and it was caught seemingly unaware.
It is my opinion that digital camera manufacturers have realized this changing paradigm and are focusing on high priced models such as SLRs and Micro Four thirds. But this move by Nokia also highlights a previously touched upon topic facing smartphone manufacturers – the ‘differentiate or die’ scenario. I have referred to it a few months ago where I opined that if smartphone and tablet makers don’t differentiate their offering, many will fall by the wayside either by way of acquisition or bankruptcy.
The speeds and feeds such as processor speeds, widely used capabilities such as email, social media, applications etc are nearly same whether running Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows or BlackBerry’s BB10. So it is time to focus on the experience of what people do most with their smartphones (other than calling) and taking pictures is one of them. One of my favourite marketing campaigns is Nokia’s Smoked by Lumia where the focus is on comparing the capabilities of the Lumia with those of popular smartphones.
My smartphone has become my singular go-to device and replaced my MP3 player, landline at home, GPS Navigator in the car, radio, stop watch, electronic tickets, newspaper and during this trip, I added digital camera to that list. While one might say the camera was always there, even before Apple’s first iPhone but I respond that until not too long ago, smartphone cameras resolution lagged those of dedicated digital cameras.
The smartphone can be called as the pen-knife of this age, and maybe it’s time to plan your next vacation armed only with your smartphone and a sense of adventure – don’t forget the charger though!!!