The Perfect Photo Op?
According to InfoTrends, "Camera phone sales are expected to experience a compound annual growth rate of 55 percent to reach 656 million units in 2008."
Plus, with the FCC's number portability ruling in 2003, wireless customers can now switch carriers and upgrade service without losing their original wireless phone numbers. As a result, many once-unlikely consumers may be more apt to upgrade their wireless clunkers for much snappier, stylish handsets that just so happen to have built-in imaging functions. Many carriers are also offering camera phones for competitively low prices, even when compared to bare bones models, by offsetting hardware prices. The result is that the technology gets filtered to the masses a bit more readily—whether consumers want it or not.
Though camera phones featuring higher-res imaging devices are still less popular than the cheaper, VGA models, customers are nevertheless outputting photos as e-mail attachments and wallet-size prints. Thanks to the successful proliferation, in part, to home printers and even select kiosks, camera phones are now reaching into other facets of the industry, creating a potential for more profits for retailers.