Frame Market Enjoys Exponential Growth

By Greg Scoblete On Jun 18 2007 - 6:00am




The digital frame market enjoyed a blistering run up to Mother's Day, selling more than 112,000 frames for the week ending May 12, according to The NPD Group's point of sale data.

The category grossed nearly $12 million that week, beating Black Friday revenue and equaling the sales volume of the week before Christmas.

Leading the pack were 7-inch frames, which accounted for 73 percent of the units sold and 56 percent of the revenue. The average selling price of a 7-inch frame was $81, down from $139 on Mother's Day 2006. Average selling prices for the category as a whole dropped from $166 to $106, while the product assortment grew from 13 models on Mother's Day '06 to 70 this year.

Digital cameras did not fare as well, growing 6 percent in units for the week leading up to Mother's Day but dropping 5 percent in dollars vs. the same period a year ago. Selling prices for the category dipped 11 percent from $223 to $200.

The "gang-busters" growth in digital frames owes largely to the category's novelty, said Liz Cutting, digital imaging analyst, The NPD Group. Last year, NPD was tracking 12 brands. Today, they're tracking 27, Cutting said.

From January to April 2006, only 13,000 frames were sold vs. 224,000 during the same period in 2007. Meanwhile, average selling prices have dropped from $148 to $102.

Digital frames have a much wider retail footprint than digital cameras, Cutting observed. In addition to traditional CE outlets, frames are sold through home furnishing and department stores as well. "We see it picking up in a lot of non-tech outlets this year," she said.

While fewer than 2 percent of frames sold through April 2007 offered Wi-Fi networking, 48 percent offered internal memory. Through April 2007, 54 percent of all models sold offered a 7-inch screen size. During the same period in 2006, 54 percent of all frames sold had 5.6-inch screens.

With prices dropping and room for quality improvements, the digital frame market is poised for continued growth, Cutting added.

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