News by Michael Oryl on Wednesday December 17, 2008.
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Last week the European Commission sent out a proposal to the EU's member countries suggesting that some cell phones be reclassified as "multi-function devices" based on TV viewing and GPS functionality. This reclassification would trigger an additional tax on the sale of a device, adding 14 percent to the cost of a TV capable phone, and 3.7 percent to the cost of a GPS capable phone.
As Reuters points out, this kind of regulation would put a lot of additional downward pressure on an industry that is already facing its first year of negative growth due to the world economic situation. Mobile TV in Europe is already floundering, and it seems obvious that a 14% increase in the cost of mobile TV capable cell phones certainly wouldn't help that situation. The European Commission's plans also seem to potentially target devices with QWERTY keyboards and high-quality digital cameras.
The plan is drawing strong opposition from handset manufacturers as well as industry groups like the EICTA.