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The camera phone megapixel battle gets hotter and hotter


February 21, 2005

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February 22, 2005 Camera phones are the fastest growing consumer electronics product in history, and make up 75 percent of digital cameras sold worldwide in 2005, according to CTIA research. Samsung's announcements at the Photo Marketing Association Showyesterday indicated that it intends to grab the lion's share of the converged phone market by releasing camera phones with two mega pixel, 3.5 mega pixel and five mega pixel capabilities onto the US market this year.

These devices will feature designs that are familiar to consumers using traditional digital cameras, helping drive global adoption to levels not previously achieved by any device.

The world is going wireless very quickly Global mobile phone shipments rose to 703 million units in 2004, up 23.3 percent from 570 million in 2003. Analysts are raising their forecasts - 750 million mobile phone sales seem likely for 2005. In raw figures, that's an extra one mobile phone for 10% of the planet's population. And if the CTIA figures are accurate, 75% of those phones will have a camera in them.

Samsung's latest camera phones are advanced multimedia devices that allow consumers to take and send pictures and video, as well as view select television content via Video on Demand and download and play MP3 files. Through these advanced features and innovative product designs, Samsung is at the forefront of driving the wireless imaging revolution.

"Wireless phones are becoming much more than simple voice devices. They are the center of consumers' social interactions," said Pete Skarzynski, senior vice president, Samsung. "First with text messaging and now with pictures, video and music, consumers want their digital devices to connect them to what's important in their life. And, Samsung's phones do just that."

Samsung released the world's first 5-megapixel camera phone last October and the phone has been selling exceptionally well in Korea despite a high price of KRW980,000 (US$957).

Samsung's Korean phone manufacturing rivals LG and Pantech have both announced plans to release camera phones in the 7-megapixel plus category this year.

On top of throwing down the gauntlet to the other Korean manufacturers with regard to the megapixel race, Samsung continues to add feature-rich functionality to its premium phones such as speech-to-text conversion capability (enabling mobile users to send text messages automatically generated from voice), and a unique user interface that recognises movement.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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