Rumors of such a device have been floating around all year, some of them discouraging and none of them fruitful. So I’d largely given up until, on a whim, I wandered into a Verizon Wireless store on Fifth Avenue earlier this week and found that for some weeks now they’ve been selling the Motorola V710, which features not just Bluetooth, but a camera-phone as well. It’s a tad on the large size, but it’s an attractive piece of work, leaps and bounds ahead of the old school of aesthetics-challenged Motorola industrial design.
As I was looking it over, I felt that compulsive desire to buy it on the spot: this was, after all, what I’d been waiting for so long. It’s a good thing I didn’t. The Bluetooth chip inside the V710 is apparently ‘crippled,’ such that it will work only with Verizon-approved Bluetooth devices. The chip won’t synchronize with my PowerBook via iSync, and it won’t allow me to transfer other data back and forth from it, in what seems like an effort to protect the revenue that the company generates from people sending their camera-phone pictures to and from their handsets. I’m not going to comment on the corporate mentality that created these circumstances, but what a disappointment it is.