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New Frames Debut on Eve of Holiday Season

New York – The digital frame market is poised to enjoy a strong holiday selling season and double digit growth through 2011, according to a new report from research firm IDC.

To date, six percent of digital camera owning households own a digital frame, said Ron Glaz, digital imaging solutions program director, IDC. Unit shipments in the U.S. will reach 5.6 million this year, up from 1.6 million in 2006, he added.

“Digital frames will penetrate the market quickly,” Glaz said. By 2008, IDC expects 9.3 million digital frames to ship, ballooning to 23 million in the U.S. and 42.3 million worldwide by 2011.

Twelve percent of digital frames shipped worldwide this year will include built-in wireless connectivity, up from four percent last year, Glaz noted.

Hoping to ride this tide, several manufacturers announced new products in the past two weeks aiming at the higher-end of the frame market.

Digital Foci updated its Imagine Moments 8-inch photo frame. The new version offers 256MB of internal memory, an 800 by 600 resolution screen with a 500:1 contrast ratio. An adapter ring lets users swap out frames to match décor.

The frame accepts CompactFlash, SD (including SDHC), Memory Stick/Memory Stick Duo, xD cards and it offers a USB port for PC transfer. It can automatically rotate pictures for proper orientation, has a programmable on/off feature, and the ability to play video or digital audio files through built-in speakers or an audio output.

The Image Moments 8 will ship in November for a suggested $199 with additional interchangeable frames available for a suggested $19.95 each.

eStarling will ship a Wi-Fi-enabled 8-inch models this month. Each frame has an assigned email address, allowing remote users to send images to the frame via email. Consumers can also email photos from the frame to friends and family.

The eStarling frame can also receive images via RSS feeds from online photo sites such as iPhoto, Flickr, Photobucket and Smugmug, among others. The subscription-free frame is managed through the company’s Web site.

The frame offers a resolution of 800 by 600, 128MB of internal memory, card slots for SD/MMC, CF and Memory Stick, and USB host/client support.

The frame will be available in black or white and will retail for a suggested $259.

Fidelity Electronics will court high-end users with its new 15-inch DPF-1500 Pro. The unit will include a full version of ACDSee Pro Photo Manager software in the box (typically $129) and will offer 1GB of internal memory. The frame features a resolution of 1024 by 768 and a 350:1 contrast ratio. It can playback MP3 audio and several video file formats as well.

The DPF-1500 Pro will retail between $349 and $399 and will ship this month.