Strategy Analytics, a global research and consulting firm, released a new report, "Megapixels Surge In 2004 Camera Phone Market," that found 84 million camera phones were shipped worldwide in 2003 versus 49 million digital still cameras.
"NEC, with a 16 percent global share, was the world's leading camera phone vendor in 2003," said Neil Mawston, report author. "With more than 90 percent of its shipments including a camera module by the end of 2003, NEC has made imaging the centerpiece of its device strategy."
The report also found that Asia is still the largest demand center for camera phones, but Europe will represent over 25 percent of sales in 2004. "In the clearest sign yet of mobile digital convergence," David Kerr, vice president of the Global Wireless Practice, said, "NEC, Nokia, Samsung and Panasonic all outsold Sony, the world's largest digital still camera vendor in 2003. Only Sony, Sony Ericsson, and Samsung, of the major traditional digital still camera vendors, are positioned to exploit massive camera phone growth through the end of the decade. Those DSC vendors without a strong cellular division or wireless partner, such as Olympus will find themselves under increasing competitive pressure in the long-term."
Other key findings reported tumbling wholesale ASPs and strong retail subsidies will fuel 2004 growth as vendors are driving camera phone adoption by adding functionality that mimics the imaging form factor and man-machine interface that users are already highly familiar with through traditional film-based and digital still camera use. The report also found more than half of all camera phones will have 1 megapixel plus resolution by 2006.
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