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Phone cameras seen outselling digital still cameras

Posted: 21 Mar 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:digital camera? cellphone? future image?

Digital cameras attached to cellular phones are likely to outsell standalone digital still cameras this year, with 50 million or more camera phones shipping in 2003, according to a report by Future Image Inc.

Various market researchers are predicting that camera phone shipments will be in a range of 40 to 80 million attachments this year, as the trend spreads from Japan and Korea to Western markets. Future Image is predicting that about 50 million cameras will be attached to wireless phones this year.

Digital still cameras (DSCs) are selling well - sales are expected to increase 28 percent this year to 31.45 million units, according to the Camera and Imaging Products Association. Last year, DSC sales jumped 66 percent, but camera phone sales increased five-folds and are likely to double again this year.

The report by Future Image, which tracks the Internet imaging and digital photography markets, noted that camera phone sales have skyrocketed from the appearance of the first camera-phone in November 2000. It took a decade for DSCs to reach sales of 25 million units a year, while camera phones will hit the 25-million level in only three years, the report noted.

By 2004, camera phones may outsell the combination of DSCs and traditional film cameras. About 60 million conventional film cameras are expected to be sold this year, not counting disposable, one-time-use film cameras.

The resolution of camera phones is increasing, with 1Mpixel camera phones expected to hit the market soon, with 2Mpixel and 3Mpixel phones to follow. That has companies salivating over the business. Micron Technology Inc., for example, recently announced a line of VGA-resolution CMOS image sensors aimed at the camera phone market.

- David Lammers

EE Times

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