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Nokia builds camera into phone

The Finnish cell phone giant introduces a cell phone with a built-in camera and a new-look keypad. It's due in North America early next year.

Nokia introduced a cell phone Friday with a built-in camera and a new look keypad.

The 3650 will be the first Nokia phone for North America with a camera built inside, said Nokia Senior Vice President Juha Putkiranta. The Finland-based cell phone maker expects to begin shipping the phone early next year. It will cost between $450 and $500, Nokia said.

The Nokia 3650 uses the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) phone standard, which makes U.S. carriers T-Mobile, Cingular Wireless and AT&T Wireless likely candidates to sell it in the United States. The three carriers all have GSM networks.

U.S. carriers are hoping to create new revenue streams by selling picture messages, a service in which someone can snap a picture with a camera attached to a cell phone and e-mail the photo to another cell phone or computer. AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint PCS now offer picture messaging services. Sprint PCS also offers a way to store the photos on the Internet.

All three carriers now sell phones that become cameras by attaching a separate device. Both AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile's phones have an attachable black-and-white camera the size of a marble. Sprint PCS sells a full-sized color camera for $60 that can attach to two of its phones.

The Nokia 3650 features a keypad shaped in a circle, rather than the usual rectangle. The phone's combination number and letter keys are arranged around a quarter-sized button used to scroll in any of four directions.

The phone comes equipped with Bluetooth, a short range wireless technology used by companies such as Microsoft and Apple Computer as a way to synchronize mobile devices with personal computers.