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Nokia Denies Early Videophone Launch

Strong suggestions that Nokia Corp.'s (NYSE: NOK) 3650 model, which can capture and send video clips, was going to be launched on Nokia's home turf in Finland before the end of 2002 have been flatly denied by the handset maker.

As we were chatting with the fabulously named Barclay Clibborn, MMS solutions product manager at messaging systems vendor Tecnomen Corp., the subject of video phones cropped up, as Tecnomen tests such products for interoperability with its products. Tecnomen, another Finnish company, has already tested the 3650 to ensure that it works with its multimedia messaging service center (MMSC), and told us that Nokia would be releasing the tri-band model, which has an embedded camera that can take a still picture or record a video clip, in Finland before the end of the year.

That's funny, we thought (funny peculiar, that is, not funny ha-ha), because that model's not set for release until the new year. So we got on the dog and bone and called the fancily titled director of imaging at Nokia Mobile Phones, David Watkins, catching him just before his first gin and tonic. [Ed. note: We called him in the evening, not at breakfast time.] "You absolutely won't see the 3650 before the first quarter of 2003," states Watkins, as the ice rocked against his slice of lemon.

Either way, it will still be the first handset for the GSM market that can capture video clips and send them, but we wonder why the boy Clibborn was so sure it was making an early appearance? Well, it was way too late to ask him, as he's a good old Irish lad and was probably already tucking into his fifth pint of Guinness with a wooden spoon, before diving into a massive plate of mashed potatoes for supper.

He does have an interesting take on the whole video-device market, however (which he discussed before his stout session). "Recording and sending video clips is something that the handset makers can do, but they're playing a game with the market," proclaims Clibborn. "They're getting the camera phones into the shops and waiting for people to upgrade to those, and then they'll launch a new wave of handsets that can use the same cameras but which can record video clips, so tempting customers to buy yet another new phone."

An old trick, but an effective one. Just look at the staggered rollout of any high-tech consumer device, and at the number of times Unstrung has trotted down to the local electronics store to spend our disposable income on the latest television set. And the programs still don't get any better!

— Ray Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung
paulcockerton 12/4/2012 | 9:10:25 PM
re: Nokia Denies Early Videophone Launch You can get add on software for the existing 7650 which allows it to record and send video clips. Given that it runs the same software as the 3650 this isn't that surprising!
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