World’s first mobile phone with camera has been recognized to be the J-SH04 manufactured by Sharp Corporation and launched by J-Phone of SoftBank Mobile. A mobile phone with camera captures photographs and might also record videos. J-SH04 was the first mobile phone with camera in the world that was sold in Japan in November 2000. This J-Phone model was released a little more than 10 years after the first ever digital camera was sold in December 1989 in Japan.
Arguments with World’s First Mobile Phone:
However, it is often argued that the world’s first mobile phone with camera was the SCH-V200 which was made by Samsung and launched in South Korea in June 2000, a few months before J-SH04 was released. On being flipped open, the SCH-V200 revealed a 1.5-inch TFT-LCD while the in-built digital camera could capture 20 photographs at 350,000-pixel resolution which comes to 0.35-megapixels. The fact why SCH-V200, equipped with a VGA camera, cannot be recognized as the first ever camera phone is that the model housed the phone and the camera components as essentially separate devices. One needed to hook the phone up to a computer to get the photos.
J-SH04, the world’s first ever mobile phone with camera, offered 110,000-pixel CMOS and 256-color display. Weighing 84g, the phone had dimensions of 122 x 32 x 13 mm. Its predecessor was the J-SH03 and it was succeeded by the J-SH05 which was a flip phone released in December 2000.
Amidst the debate whether the J-SH04 or the SCH-V200 is the world’s first mobile phone with camera, some often argue for the Kyocera VP-210 Visual Phone that was introduced in May 1999, predating both the above-mentioned contenders as the world’s “first” camera phone.
Title goes to J-Phone of SoftBank Mobile:
The place of Sharp’s J-SH04 is confirmed as the world’s first mobile phone with camera on the basis of a tight definition of what a camera phone technically is. Samsung’s SCH-V200 camera had only been half-integrated. The camera shared the same battery and case, but lacked integration with the phone function. It certainly failed to convey images “at a distance”, thus drifting from the stricter definition of a mobile phone with camera. Images from SCH-V200 had to be downloaded to a PC via wire. Sharp’s J-SH04, on the other hand, was integrated electronically as well as mechanically and was able to convey captured images at a distance. Thus, the J-SH04 was undoubtedly the “point of origin” of the present-day camera phones.
Cameras in cell phones, launched years after the first digital camera was released, became highly popular right from the very beginning. More than half of Japan’s cell phone subscribers started using camera phones within two years of the release of the J-SH04. The entire world soon followed and by 2003, camera cell phones sold throughout the world were more than the sale of standalone digital cameras. In 2006, 50% of the world’s mobile phones had built-in cameras after Nokia became the most-sold digital camera brand in the world in 2005.
Cameras having become ubiquitous in phones, few feel the need to have a dedicated device for photographing or video-recording anymore, as a result of which sales of digital cameras have slumped miserably.