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Consumers Prefer Mobile Pictures

Convergence is finding traction in mobile phones, with one-fourth of all U.S. Internet households willing to use a high-resolution camera phone as their primary camera, according to the forthcoming report "Mobile Market Intelligence" (Second Edition) from Parks Associates.

The report also found consumer interest in mobile music applications, although photo applications are more popular among U.S. Internet households, with 52 percent (10.2 million homes) intending to buy a mobile phone with an integrated camera and only 30 percent (5.9 million homes) planning to purchase a mobile phone capable of downloading music.

"Although the industry is currently focused on iPods and Motorola's new music phone ROKR, consumers would rather have a camera phone," said Vibha Pant, an analyst with Parks Associates. "Moreover, the impending introduction of advanced mega-pixel camera phones will strengthen demand, which will create great opportunities for service providers to increase their ARPU by offering photo sharing, photo printing, and other applications."

The prospects for music phones should not be discounted, though, with approximately 14 million U.S. homes expressing an interest in such a device, making it a more popular item than a smart phone. The report defines a smart phone as either a PDA with phone capabilities or a phone that can perform computer-like functions such as e-mailing, word processing, and Internet browsing.

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