"Clearly, the camera phone market continues to enjoy a healthy boom," said Neil Strother, research director for mobile devices for The NPD Group. "Our data show that last year camera phones had penetrated 7 percent of the U.S. market, and now that number is close to 22 percent - a dramatic year-over-year increase of nearly 200 percent. As more megapixel camera phones enter the market and image quality improves, the expectation is that significantly more consumers will want to print the photos taken with these improved products."
The study, based on a survey of more than 400 U.S. camera phone owners, points to a significant opportunity for retailers and vendors to capitalize on the printing potential from accelerating adoption rates of camera phones and the growth in mobile imaging.
"Early adopters of digital cameras most often printed at home, if they printed at all - there weren't many options yet available or convenient. Now the infrastructure to get digital prints at retail is in place and consumers are adopting this behavior more quickly," said John Prendergast, Vice President, Web and Online Services, Imaging Group, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. "As the quality, functionality and ease-of-use of camera phones improve, we see users gravitating to the service, quality and cost-effectiveness of the retail destination."
The data notes a strong correlation between the number of images taken by a camera phone and the likelihood they will be printed, with those who print taking nearly double the number of images a month. The study also found that 74 percent of camera phone users also own a digital camera. Other key findings from the survey indicate that, much like digital cameras, the most commonly photographed subjects by camera phone users are friends, family and children (80.1%), followed by pets (37.2%). An interesting difference is the use of camera phones to take "random" or "spur of the moment" images (29.8%).
Fujifilm, a leader in imaging technology and retail photofinishing solutions, introduced the first digital minilab, the Fujifilm Frontier digital lab system, in 1996. Since that time Fujifilm has integrated digital printing solutions in more than 10,000 retail locations, enabling them to profit from the exploding number of digital images being captured. As next generation camera phones continue to emerge with removable media and wireless transmission capability, greater resolution, zoom, and other camera-like functionality, Fujifilm expects these advances to drive printing volumes to greater levels.
This study is being released the same day that Fujifilm has announced a new Cingular Wireless service that allows consumers to download a convenient management and printing application that takes advantage of the Fujifilm Get the Picture Online Service. The application enables Cingular customers to access the thousands of participating digital processing retail stores nationwide and obtain prints directly from their handset in as little as an hour.
Cingular has also introduced an enhanced version and simpler interface for its Mobile Postcards, the first-of-its-kind, photo-postcard application launched last year. This application allows Cingular customers to use their camera phones to create personalized Fujifilm photo postcards and send them anywhere in the country via the U.S. mail - directly from their Cingular handset. Fujifilm created these applications in conjunction with Summus, Inc., a leading provider of mobile media applications.