Douwe Osinga's Blog: PhoneCams outsell conventional cameras

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

It is official. PhoneCams have outsold conventional cameras. According to Mobile Commerce Worldwide, mobile phone makers shipped 25 million camera capable handsets in the first half of this year. Most of them were sold in Japan, but Europe is going places too.

I think that these PhoneCams will almost completely replace conventional camera's. Not now. My PhoneCam does 640x480, which is okay(ish) for blog illustrations and e-mail, but nothing more. But as soon as they hit 2, maybe 3 megapixel, normal camera's (that is including normal, digital camera's) will be in trouble. Bringing a camera takes an active decision. Am I going to use it or not? But people always bring their phones.

The fact that I can immediately e-mail any picture I take, tops it off. This is a feature I already use. You could print them directly from your phone at something like ImageStation. Sure, you could build in network capabilities in camera's too and I'm sure that people will, but once the camera in phones get good enough for holiday pictures, most people are just not going to bother with bringing an extra item of electronics.

If the pixel amount doubles every year or so, as it seems to do, we'll need four years before the camera is obsolete. Of course, by that time, most digital cameras will have 10+megapixels, but that is mostly interesting for the (semi)-profesionals.