Japan's Phone Craze Off The Hook

Some using digital camera-loaded mobile phones, fans try to shoot singers arriving for the Japan MTV Video Music Award in Saitama, north of Tokyo, on May 25, 2003. Cell phones with cameras are opening up new possibilities for crime in Japan. In July, the magazine publishers association is mailing out 34,000 posters to bookstores nationwide asking people not to use camera-equipped cell phones. AP

They're everywhere.

They're irritating.

And, as CBS News Correspondent Barry Petersen reports, in Japan, a plain old cell phone call is so old-fashioned. Technology is speed-dialing ahead, with cell phones that control your robot dog or pop up the lights and start the car on winter mornings.

Then there are cell phones doubling as cameras, making big bucks for phone companies because pictures cost more to send - a lot more.

"My highest bill ever," says one woman, "was $1,000 one month for sending pictures to my friends."

Camera phones, it seems, are hogging everyone's attention. But with use, has come abuse.

Japanese TV is warning that some men are taking pictures of unsuspecting women.

One woman described how a man placed his cell phone below her skirt and snapped some pictures.

Others scan magazines at the store, getting all the information and buying nothing.

And the next big thing may make you throw away that TV because now in Japan you can get video and TV shows fed right to that phone in your pocket. These $300 phones will soon be flooding the Japanese market, and your friends can join in.

With phones that even do conference calls, your teenager will love it.

As one quirky commercial shows, camera cell phones can record memorable moments, like a flying saucer crashing into a Japanese farmhouse.

In hi-tech Japan these days, that's no longer an alien concept.
  • Jaime Holguin

Comments

Follow Us