Paul Withington, senior research analyst for IDC's European Peripherals Group, said "As predicted, in 2003 we witnessed another phenomenal year for the industry - prices dropped even further and vendors repositioned their products to capture the next wave of digital enthusiasm."
Percentage growth into 2004 will not prove as dramatic as in previous years, as the market moves beyond its adoption stage. Across Western Europe, IDC predicts 45% overall growth in 2004 and, towards the end of IDC's five-year forecast period to 2008, expects the market to have matured.
2004 saw the first 1MP camera phone introduced into Western Europe. This signified the beginning of a new competitive positioning for mobile phone vendors as they carve themselves a foothold in the digital imaging marketplace. The handset vendors will continue to increase resolution on camera phones and by 2006 IDC expects almost 20 million unit shipments in the 3MP-and-above range.
"Although megapixel resolution is not the only factor in producing a good image, this is the main purchasing criteria among most consumers," said Withington.
Western Europe Top 5 Digital Camera Vendors, 2003 (000 Units)
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