Sony Bloggie Touch, Flip HD Hold Dedicated-Device Line vs. Smartphones

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Sony Bloggie Touch, Flip HD Hold Dedicated-Device Line vs. Smartphones

by Nicholas Kolakowski

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Dedicated Devices

Mobile cameras from Sony's Bloggie and Cisco's Flip franchises. These devices take high-resolution video, but could be pressured by the rise of general-purpose devices with multiple camera functions, including smartphones.

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Touch Screen

Dedicated cameras have increasingly embraced touch screens as a method of user input, as seen in the Sony Bloggie Touch (right). Sony is prepping a 3D version of the device for release.

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Dedicated devices offer the advantages of easy setup and quick use. In the Bloggie's case, there's one button to turn it on, one big red-and-black button to record, and a USB port to upload the images and video to your PC and Mac.

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Dedicated devices' competitive advantage is that they perform their limited functions in very powerful ways. The Bloggie Touch can shoot video in 1,920-by-1,080 resolution, along with 12.8-megapixel still images—far beyond the capabilities of most smartphones currently on the market.

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Dedicated vs. General

Over the past few years, smartphones' camera capabilities have been on the rise.

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Integrated Element

A camera module is now an expected part of a smartphone's user interface. Seen here is Windows Phone 7's "Hubs" screen, which includes "Pictures."

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Most smartphones come equipped with a 5-megapixel camera, meaning they lag behind many dedicated camera devices in that category.

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Starting with the iPhone (and continuing through the iPhone 4, shown), Apple has integrated camera modules and software into more and more of its mobile products, including the iPod Touch.

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Steve Jobs "I'm sure there will always be dedicated devices," Apple CEO Steve Jobs told The New York Times in 2009, "and they may have a few advantages in doing just one thing. But I think the general-purpose devices will win the day." Time will tell whether he's right.

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