Saudi will stay in picture

The clampdown on camera phones in Saudi Arabia doesn’t seem to be stopping manufacturers from launching new models in to the Middle East market.

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By  Peter Branton Published  April 25, 2004

The clampdown on camera phones in Saudi Arabia doesn’t seem to be stopping manufacturers from launching new models in to the Middle East market. Vendor i-mate has launched its Smartphone2 in the Middle East, which features a built-in digital camera and video recorder. The company said it would not put the model directly on sale in the Kingdom. Other companies said they did not feel the ban would adversely affect their business, one manufacturer pointing out that there has always been a ban on camera phones in the Kingdom, it is just being more firmly enforced after bad publicity recently. LG Electronics has also just released a new camera phone model. The company said it did not anticipate losing sales as a result of the current situation. Sales of other models would compensate, a company spokesman said. Rival Samsung said it will launch non-camera based models to fulfill demand in the market. “With regard to sales of non-camera models our sales are growing rapidly,” said Ramdas Rajamani, marketing manager for Samsung Middle East.

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