The changes in Windows Phone hardware requirements seem to have changed on September 23 when Microsoft added the front-facing and main cameras to the “optional hardware” category of the phones, together with the compass and gyro.
We know both Microsoft and Nokia strive to lower the prices of Windows Phones as much as possible in order to fight Android, which, according to Steve Ballmer, is at the very bottom price-wise. Sacrificing the front-facer is acceptable but the need for a certain Windows Phone to drop its main camera just to be cheap enough to compete with Android is not a solution in our opinion.
Smartphones were equipped with cameras from the very early days, regardless of the lens/sensor quality. Even some feature phones are regarding cameras as a standard! How would you use your Windows Phone without a camera? Facebook and Twitter for instance will turn “text-only” for people rocking such devices not to mention that it is sort of against all the Windows Phone buzz and it being “about people”. One can live without the front-facer, gyro or compass, but how about the main camera? Let us know of your thoughts!
Update: As our good peeps mention in the comments (thanks!), the lack of a camera might turn out to be a “feature” after all. On a more serious note, certain corporate usage scenarios don’t allow camera-phones so Microsoft might just be preparing to attack that market.