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Over 10 million imaging phones shipped in EMEA so far this year
Posted on 10-Dec-2003 16:02 | Tags Filed under: News

Over 10 million imaging phones shipped in EMEA so far this year
Canalys research released a new report highlighting the market penetration of so called imaging phones, or cameraphones.
Shipments of imaging phones in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) grew 27% in Q3 2003 compared to the previous quarter. This brings the year-to-date total over the 10 million mark. Canalys expects the final total for the year to exceed 16 million units, and for the market to more than double in 2004.

"Many operators are already offering these phones 'free' with a new contract and they are available for next to nothing to existing contract customers who are eligible for an upgrade," said Canalys analyst Rachel Lashford. "Imaging phones are being promoted very heavily by operators and vendors and will be a popular gift item this Christmas: it is quite possible that supply will outstrip demand for some of the leading models. This will open the door for the less well-established vendors, provided they are able to ship product in sufficient quantities."

At the beginning of the year, Nokia and Sony Ericsson faced few competitors in this segment, with only Sharp and Panasonic, helped by their association with Vodafone Live, also shipping imaging phones in significant volumes. As the year progressed many more vendors have entered, with Samsung shipping around a million units so far in 2003 and Sagem almost a quarter of a million.

"Motorola and Siemens were very late entrants into this space," added Chris Jones, Canalys director and senior analyst, "We expect them to figure more significantly in Q4, but the current leaders have benefited from their early market entry, have gained valuable experience and are already shipping their next-generation products. They are coming from a fairly strong position."

Canalys expects imaging phones to account for around half of all mobile phone shipments in EMEA by 2006. "While we believe they will continue to be popular with consumers, some companies are bound to be nervous of the presence of so many cameras in the workplace and will resist adoption. Highly cost-constrained and technology averse individuals on pre-pay schemes too will seek out cheaper alternatives for as long as they remain available," Jones added.

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