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About half of the mobile phones sold worldwide are equipped with a camera

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The number of camera-equipped mobile phones sold this year makes up 48 percent of the total mobile phones sold, a number that is expected to rise to 81 percent by the end of this decade. According to the consultancy Gartner, sales of camera phones have almost tripled since 2004, reaching 460 million units sold worldwide this year, corresponding to an increase of 43 percent over last year.

If the trend continues, it is estimated that in 2010 sales of this type of mobile phone will reach one billion devices.

The cameras are, according to Gartner, «a tool that users expect to find in new devices, regardless of whether they are interested in using them or not». The «high-quality features of photographs taken with mobile phones allow users to view images on computers, print or publish directly from the mobile phone on their blogs or on services such as Flickr», explains Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at the consultant.

The quality of the cameras and high resolution of the photographs taken with mobile phones will continue to be one of the goals of the manufacturers since, increasingly, users will use the selection criteria applied in the purchase of a digital camera when purchasing a mobile phone. .

At the same time, the size of the equipment will be another factor that will follow the trends, which has already led some manufacturers to adopt alternative solutions in the development of the devices, using new materials, which allow the creation of capable and reduced size machines.

For the past three years, the market has been dominated by sales of mobile phones with cameras from a megapixel, which will total 51 percent of the total mobile devices sold in 2006. In 2007, Gartner predicts that more than half of the devices will have cameras with one or two megapixels.

In Western Europe, the main market for this equipment, sales of these devices will reach 122 million this year, 28 percent more than last year, with the minimum resolution requirement for cameras to set at 1.3 or two megapixelssays the consultant. In 2007, the minimum requirement will be five megapixels, indicates the same document.

This year North America, the second largest market, will reach 106.8 million units sold, 41 percent more than in 2005, followed by the Asia-Pacific region, where sales will reach 106.7 million units.

The consultant points out that in Japan the sale of mobile phones with cameras will represent 95 percent of the total equipment sold in 2007, when it will register the highest penetration rate. In the last twelve months there has been less demand for camera-less equipment in the Japanese market, which has been an incentive for manufacturers to include these models in their portfolios.

By 2010, Western Europe is expected to match Japan’s penetration level and the number of camera phones sold is expected to rise to 93.6 percent of the total, followed by North America where they will reach 93.4 percent. cent.

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