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The following is an unedited press release, shown as received from the company represented. We've elected to present selected releases without editorial comment, as a way to provide our readers more information without further overtaxing our limited editorial resources. To avoid any possible confusion or conflict of interest, the Imaging Resource will always clearly distinguish between company-provided press releases and our own editorial views and content.

PRESS RELEASE: Gartner Says Nearly 50 Percent of Worldwide Mobile Phones Will Have a Camera in 2006 and 81 percent by 2010

UK, Egham, November 2, 2006 — Worldwide sales of camera phones will account for 48 percent of total worldwide mobile phone sales in 2006, growing to 81 percent by 2010, according to new forecasts from Gartner Inc. Worldwide sales of camera phones, which have almost tripled since 2004, will reach 460 million in 2006, an increase of 43 percent from 2005. This trend is set to continue, leading to sales of one billion camera phones by 2010.

“A camera is a feature that consumers expect to see in new devices whether they are interested in using it or not,” said Carolina Milanesi, principal research analyst at Gartner. “With improved quality of camera phone pictures, users can now really enjoy viewing pictures on their PCs, printing them or uploading pictures directly from their phones onto their blog, thanks to services such as Flickr.”

Gartner says that the ‘mega pixel race’ will continue to gather pace as consumers apply the same judgement in selecting camera phones as in selecting digital cameras. “Consumers’ perception that a higher pixel count translates into a higher quality device will encourage mobile phone manufacturers to continue to increase this,” Ms Milanesi added. In addition manufacturers are also aware that size remains a key criterion in the purchase of a mobile phone, which has led some companies to look into alternative solutions, such as liquid lenses. This technology is capable of creating sharp pictures in ways very similar to the human eye and offering several advantages like size, cost, speed and durability.

For the past three years, the market has been dominated by sales of camera phones with less than one mega pixels. This will reach 51 percent of total mobile phone sales in 2006. By 2007, Gartner predicts that more than half of the camera phones will have at least one or two mega pixels.

Sales of camera phones to end users by region, worldwide
(Thousands of units)
  2005 2006 2010 CAGR 2006-2010










Eastern Europe










Latin America





Middle East





North America





Western Europe










Source: Gartner Dataquest (October 2006)

In Western Europe, the largest market for camera phones, sales will exceed 122 million by 2006, a 28 percent increase from 2005. ”In 2006, 1.3 and two mega pixel resolutions will become the minimum requirement for mid-tier to high-end phones and a 3.2 mega pixel resolution will be used for flagship products. This will increase to five mega pixels in 2007,” Ms Milanesi said.

In 2006, North America will be the second largest market in the world and will reach 106.8 million units in 2006, a 41 percent increase from 2005. North America will be closely followed by Asia Pacific where sales will total 160.7 million units in 2006.

North America experienced outstanding growth over the past few years and the most interesting evolution in the market has been the growth of mega pixel imaging, which will grow from five million units in 2005 to 45 million units in 2006.

In Japan, camera phones will account for 95 percent of total mobile phone sales in 2007, when it will reach its highest penetration level. Over the past twelve months, there has been a strong demand for non-camera-embedded devices in Japan, which encouraged operators to introduce them in their portfolios. By 2010, Gartner predicts that Western Europe will equal Japan’s penetration levels to reach 93.6 percent followed very closely by North America at 93.4 percent.

About Gartner:
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. Gartner serves 10,000 organizations, including chief information officers and other senior IT executives in corporations and government agencies, as well as technology companies and the investment community. The Company consists of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has 3,700 associates, including 1,200 research analysts and consultants in 75 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

(First posted on Monday, November 6, 2006 at 10:07 EST)

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