Worldwide Shipments of Imaging-Enabled Mobile Devices Will Reach 151 Million in 2006, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – AUGUST 20, 2002 – As worldwide economies remain sluggish, mobile device hardware vendors and service providers are searching for new ways to combat sagging device sales and increase subscriber revenues. According to new research from IDC, Moving Pictures: The Future of Mobile Devices and Imaging, the integration of digital imaging capabilities into handsets and PDAs may be just what the doctor ordered. Worldwide shipments of these devices will reach 151 million in 2006.


"The component technology of both handheld devices and mobile phones has now reached a point where embedded imaging is possible," said Chris Chute, senior analyst for IDC's Digital Imaging Solutions and Services research. "Most device buyers will increase their investment for a product with imaging capabilities."

Improvements in high-speed wireless data networks will also make imaging-enabled devices more appealing to potential buyers. "Increased bandwidth from 2.5G and 3G networks make multimedia transmission possible," said Alex Slawsby, research analyst for IDC's Smart Handheld Devices research.

"Combining these network capabilities with advanced imaging-enabled mobile devices will drive future growth in revenues, subscriptions, and shipments."

Key Findings

Over 900 million individuals are expected to subscribe to a wireless service worldwide by the end of 2002.

Worldwide shipments of imaging-enabled handhelds will grow from 617,440 units in 2002 to 11.1 million in 2006.

Leveraging 2.5G wireless connectivity in Japan, imaging-enabled mobile phones are driving strong subscriber and revenue growth for NTT DoCoMo, KDDI, and J-phone: other carriers in Asia and Europe are poised to follow suit with similar services throughout the next year.

Secure Digital and Memory Stick are vying to be the media of choice for imaging-enabled device vendors.

To be successful in this space, devices must incorporate camera functionality, while leveraging carrier subsidies to reach price points that will attract consumer volume purchases.

IDC's study Moving Pictures: The Future of Mobile Devices and Imaging, includes a high-level view of the drivers and inhibitors affecting the implementation of imaging technology in the mobile device market.

To purchase this study, Contact Jim Nagle at 508-935-4549 or email

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in- depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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