Shane Conder, a BREW developer at wireless software company Rocket Mobile, posts on his Weblog that cellular operators are going to require that camera phone users transmit photos only wirelessly via MMS rather than also being able to save photos on memory cards. Here's what Shane wrote:
"Carriers will be hindering quick snappers by not allowing images to be saved to external cards (so what are they for?!) by requiring all images that move off a phone to go through MMS. I know this from stuff I can't post specifics about. I also hope market forces make it change before it's a reality. Unfortunately, I know that my current project has to implement it (the restriction). :(
"This, alone, certainly limits the range of uses on some camera phones. Another megapixel camera phone doesn't even have a memory slot. Of course, at high jpeg compression it could store 200 1.3 megapixel images!"
If cellular operators are going to prevent users from saving photos to memory cards in the phone, this is a seriously stupid thing to do. The harm to consumers is so obvious that I'm not even going to discuss it!
But it also could harm the cellular operators. Although I'm not a fan of the intelligence of the human race (I definitely am not a "man of the people" -- nor do I want to be), users will quickly learn that they can't save photos to a memory card -- when other cellular operators don't disable this feature.
Also, I wonder whether disabling the ability to save photos to a memory card also will carry over to saving any type of file -- music, video, text, etc. In addition, if the cellular operator(s) is/are so user-hostile as to prohibit transferring data to a memory card, I wouldn't be surprised if it would be impossible to transfer data via a cable, infrared or Bluetooth.
Head it off at the pass
If a cellular operator is indeed disabling the memory card function -- and I have no first hand knowledge of it -- perhaps adverse publicity could make the cellular operator think twice. Of course, using a word "think" in conjunction with a cellular operator that would consider disabling memory card functionality does a disservice to the word "think." Thinking has nothing to do with this decision (again, if it's true).
If you want to play a guessing game...since Rocket Mobile develops only for BREW, you could look at cellular operators that offer BREW and wonder which one (or ones) is/are going to do this.
I can't imagine that cellular subscribers would stand for this.