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Global Camera Phone Market Tops a Billion

Strategy Analytics released its latest "camera phone" market evaluation which concludes that the installed base of mobile phones that incorporate a camera will exceed One Billion units in 2007, as mature market replacement sales above one megapixel and emerging market first digital camera phone purchases (typically VGA) continue to drive sales.

Neil Mawston, Associate Director and Chief Mobile Imaging Analyst, commented, "Camera phones have been a huge success, with unit sales rising from three million in 2001 to 500 million last year. As CCD continues to lose the sensor wars in the mobile space, Micron, Omnivision and other CMOS vendors have been the prime beneficiaries."

David Kerr, Vice President of the Global Wireless Practice, added, "The camera phone market is now entering its third phase where the focus will move from Megapixel and basic image enablement to the quality of the imaging experience. In North America, and Western Europe, One Megapixel devices are now table stakes, while niche devices with five Megapixels or more will rise to over 2 percent of sales this year. Features such as zoom, flash and autofocus will become critical differentiators in 2008 and beyond."

However, due to mobile phone complex user interface issues and limited photo transfer service options, the majority of pictures taken are still trapped within the device. While most consumers can utilize the content transfer capabilities of a typical stand-alone digital camera, research indicates that camera phones have persistent usability constraints that inhibit their full use.

Other key findings of their market study include:

- Global camera phone handset revenues will grow to over $120 Billion by 2011 when one-third of the world population will own a camera phone.

- Nokia, although not first to market in this class, is the clear market leader at 28 percent global share, while Motorola also shipped over 100 million units in the last 12 months.

- Honorable mention must also go to SEMC, which has raised the user experience bar for camera phones with their Cybershot range, and has outperformed in this category as well as in the music domain.

- VGA camera phones share of the market will fall from 38 percent to under 7 percent over the forecast period.

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