The GE618 GSM/GPRS phone from Gionee combines a 300,000-pixel digital still camera, wireless Internet and MMS. It has a color TFT LCD.
300,000-pixel model mainstream, but expanding capacities and stabilizing supply of components could speed up shift to megapixel camera phones.
Camera phones will drive the biggest growth in mobile phone R&D and production this year and in 2005. Experts forecast worldwide sales will double from 84 million handsets in 2003 to 174 million by end-2004, more than twice the projected worldwide sales of digital cameras for this year. South Korea's LG Economic Research Institute (LGERI) projected in July that camera-enabled mobile phones will eat away 40 percent of the digital camera market by 2008. Despite privacy concerns that have resulted in camera phones being banned in certain countries or areas, the unabated rise in demand is prompting huge capacity expansions and R&D investments in Asia. The camera phone market in Korea recently surpassed its 1 million mark for this year. The combined sales of the three major handset makers-Samsung, LG and Pantech & Curitel-topped 1.02 million for the period ending July. Samsung alone sold nearly half a million megapixel phones.
Mobile phone manufacturers in mainland China and Taiwan offer mostly 300,000-pixel camera phones. With increased production and a growing supply of competitively priced components, in particular lenses and sensors, makers are confident of releasing megapixel models in the near term. A few Taiwanese vendors already offer 1 to 1.3-megapixel handsets. Market research firm Strategy Analytics expects more than half of all camera phones to have 1-megapixel resolution by 2006.
In line with their goal of upgrading product features and functions, suppliers are slowly switching from CMOS to CCD sensors. They have also started building in features that are normally found in cameras, such as flash, zoom and anti-red eye. Next in line is a major increase in memory capacity to enable the next generation of handsets to support as much multimedia data as possible.
Next to Japan, Korea makers have made the most headway in camera phone development. Samsung has released its 3-megapixel models. Companies such as Pantech & Curitel plan to make their own camera modules to ensure stable supply for their camera phones.
yes the article looks like it did get it backwards...ccds are slowly switching to cmos technology, not the other way around. OVTI's 5 megapixel chip places it dead center in the sweetspot of 2005 CCD still digital camera market...watch out Christmas 2005...explosion of 3-5 megapixel cell phones; 5 megapixel CMOS digital cameras for an incredibly cheap price.
Key to all this is how much market share OVTI can caputre, because volume is the name of the game here. The shorts think that all of the other maufacturers will eat Omnivision's lunch, but OVTI clearly has a lead, plus they have the smallest footprint, simple system-on-one-chip design, and lowest power consumption of anyone's CMOS chips out there. So I think it's a bargain.
Yes, the author got it backwards. Another observation: the low-price digital camera category (lo-res, no optical zoom) will decline as camera phones replace them. The only reason you'd want a digital camera (instead of a camera phone) is for the optical zoom and flash. And incidentally, some camera phones will even incorporate THOSE features.