While we received some excellent feedback and spawned interesting discussion regarding our article on cell phone camera’s (and will they replace the point and shooters) back in our July issue of the PhotographyBB Online Magazine, never did we believe that we’d live to see the day of a wireless provider becoming your newest digital camera photography equipment retailer. In what can only be described as a “mystifying” move, wireless provider Telus has just purchased Canada’s national photography retail chain, Black’s.
Although it is highly likely that most of the Black’s management and sales staff will remain employed, we still have to ask the question: What exactly does a wireless (and wireline) service provider know about the photography industry? Â Or flip things around; What do camera specialists know about wireless hardware, network technology, and the myriad of plans/options associated with wireless services in Canada? Apparently a lot! In a direct quote from the TELUSÂ press release:
In anticipation of our clients’ evolving needs and as more wireless devices have imbedded high quality photo and video capability, there is a natural link between TELUS and Black’s.
It may sound like a bit of a stretch, but with a near 80 year history of photography and retail professionalism, Black’s will begin to sell wireless phones (with those contracts of course!) throughout their 113 retail stores shortly before the coming Christmas season. Just when you thought you were shopping for a digital camera for your loved one’s Christmas gifts, lo and behold you may just wind up buying a Blackberry or camera phone instead.Â You never know;Â you might be able to get that brand new Canon EOS 7D for FREE (after mail-in rebate of course) when you buy a new cell phone with a 3-year wireless term (voice and data required), with a required minimum monthly service fee (don’t forget to add other features like call display), activation fee, system access fee, 911 fee, etc… Isn’t that how wireless works up here? All kidding aside, perhaps the move does make sense for both companies -Â I am a self-proclaimed digital photography gear freak as well as a proud Blackberry addict; I just hadn’t imagined buying the two in the same place (outside of the big box retailers, because we’re certainly not talking big box here).
I’d love to encourage some discussion on this topic (regardless of where you are from). Are digital camera shoppers (you)Â interested in being pitched a wireless phone? Should a camera store remain “just” a camera store? Are the two technologies really that similar that this would be a beneficial marriage for consumers of either product? You tell us! (Pun intended!)