Considered a novelty when they appeared three years ago in Japan, camera phones are rapidly gaining popularity worldwide; tens of millions are already in use, and analysts expect the numbers to rise to hundreds of millions in the next five years. By that time camera phones will outsell all other forms of cameras.
Their rapid spread has profound implications for the photography business, which in 2003 saw sales of digital cameras overtake film cameras for the first time. While the demise of film has long been expected, the camera phone as perpetrator caught us by surprise, as did the related fact that Finland’s Nokia, the leading maker of mobile phone handsetsincluding the popular model 3650will soon be the world’s largest camera company.
A related article named Apple’s iTunes Music Store as the Product of the Year.