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SAN MATEO, CA, 10/27/05 / MARKET WIRE/ -- In an update to be published in today's edition of its Mobile Imaging Report continuous information service, Future Image is announcing that, following discussions with a number of industry players at its recently completed Mobile Imaging Summit executive conference in Monterey, CA, the firm is substantially revising upward its forecasts for camera-phone sales for 2005 and the next four years.
The new forecast anticipates sales of 500 million camera-phones in 2005, meaning that five out of every six digital cameras sold this year will be embedded in phones. The total will rise to 900 million by 2009.
At the beginning of this year, forecasts for total mobile phone sales were around 700 million, with camera-phones expected to account for 50 percent of the total. In an effort not to overhype an already dynamic market, Future Image estimated 320 million camera-phones for this year. Now the forecasts for mobile phones have been revised upward to 760-780 million, 67 percent of which are expected to include cameras, resulting in the new forecast of half a billion. The percentage of mobile phones that include cameras will rise to 90 percent by 2009.
"The explosive growth in personal network-connected image capture devices is a fundamental shift, comparable for instance to the rapid spread of PCs in the 90s -- but on a much larger scale," said Alexis Gerard, President, Future Image Inc. "Just as ubiquitous PCs converged with other technologies to birth the mass-market Internet, ubiquitous camera-phones will converge with emerging technologies like image recognition, virtual displays, and others that were topics at our recent Summit, to change business and society in profound ways."
While the projections for global sales of mobile handsets in the coming years are likely to be conservative as the strength of both established and emerging markets continues to surprise vendors and analysts alike, the percentage that will have at least one camera will not change much, therefore Future Image estimates that even its revised forecasts are likely to prove conservative. "It's interesting to note that, so far, no one's forecasts have overestimated the size of the market," said Tony Henning, Managing Editor of the Mobile Imaging Report continuous information service. "Despite the unprecedented numbers, the global appetite for mobile imaging devices continues to grow unabated."