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Camera Phone Market Penetration

According to a recent forecast published by IDC, camera phone shipments in Western Europe are set to reach 179 million units in 2009, to constitute just over 90 percent of total mobile phone shipments. IDC predicts a compound annual growth rate of 8 percent, slightly higher than the growth forecast for the total mobile phone market, with converged devices positioned as multimedia and imaging solutions expected to demonstrate the largest growth during the forecast period.

"The integrated digital camera has become the most visible illustration to date of the progress of convergence in the mobile market," said Andrew Brown, program manager of IDC's European Mobile Devices service. "2004 witnessed the proportion of handsets with integrated cameras grow to 70 percent of total Western European mobile phone shipments from just 15 percent in 2003, illustrating the growing importance of imaging from high-end smart phones down to basic midrange and increasingly low-end mobile phones."

The declining costs of components and manufacturing/production efficiencies will be a key driver of the integrated digital camera into low-end handsets market, according to IDC, while the advent of high-speed networks and technologies such as SIP (session initiation protocol) and IMS (IP multimedia subsystem) will maximize the role of the digital camera in high-end devices as a mechanism central to rich content sharing across fixed and mobile networks and between IP-enabled devices.

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