Camera phones future of low-end photography

Mobile phones will soon replace low-end digital cameras to become the de-facto imaging solution in the consumer value space, according to a top Kodak executive.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  October 31, 2006

Mobile phones will soon replace low-end digital cameras to become the de-facto imaging solution in the consumer value space, according to a top Kodak executive. Speaking exclusively to Windows Middle East yesterday, Eastman Kodak S.A. chairman Jaime Szulc (who is also general manager of the firm’s consumer digital systems group in Europe, African and the Middle East), explained: “Mobile phones will leap over low-end digital cameras.” As Kodak’s aim is, as Szulc puts it, “to have a camera in the hands of every consumer”, the firm has signed a deal with mobile phone manufacturer Motorola and is working closely with the firm to provide the core technology of its future camera phones , from the firmware and lenses right through to the all-important CMOS sensors. “Today this area is very much unexplored,” Szulc asserts. “However it’s the next big thing. We think pictures will go the same way as text messages, so this area of what we call ‘digital services’ will be a huge opportunity in the future.” Szulc predicts that by 2009 there will be 600 million “capable” camera phones on the market. And with consumers increasingly producing more digital snaps – both with digicams and their phones – this presents another opportunity for Kodak, Szulc claims. “Image archiving, or picture sorting, will become much more important,” he says. “You now have users with hundreds if not thousands of digital images, which can turn easily into a ‘digital shoebox’ – the modern version of a box of unsorted photos. The organization of these is a big area of opportunity for us.”

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