San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
With digital still camera (DSC) sales expected to cool from the torrid growth rates of the first half of the decade, help may come from an unlikely direction: camera phones.
According to a study from InfoTrends Research Group, 38 percent of camera phone owners who did not own a digital still camera stated their intention to buy a camera sooner because of their camera phone experience.
In fact, fears of cannibalization may be overblown as InfoTrends reported that even if camera phone resolutions were to improve (90 percent are currently VGA resolution or under), a majority of still camera users would not change their photo habits.
Camera phones have been outselling traditional still cameras in the United States since 2004, according to InfoTrends. In 2005, 57 million camera phones were sold accounting for roughly 46 percent of all handset sales. In 2007 InfoTrends predicted a decisive shift toward camera phones, with sales of 109 million or 71 percent of all phones. In 2009, 144 million of the 167 million handsets sold will feature a camera.
Despite the proliferation of camera phones, actual usage statistics are dropping. Far fewer users are making prints from their camera phones, 20 percent in 2005 vs. 42 percent in 2004, and sending fewer images via e-mail or MMS.