Picture This: Digital Camera Sales Skyrocketing

SAN FRANCISCO (05/02/2000) - Sales of digital cameras will exceed those of reloadable cameras in the year 2002 in North America, according to a study released yesterday by InfoTrends Research Group Inc.

Digital camera unit sales will grow from 6.7 million this year to 20 million [m] units in 2002 and to 42 million units in 2005, the study said. In contrast, reloadable unit camera sales will total 18.7 million this year, 19 million units in 2002 and 18 million units in 2005, said the study, drawing on industry statistics.

However, the study did not include disposable camera sales, which average about 100 million units sold a year.

Still, the growing popularity of digital cameras is undeniable, said Michelle Lampmann, an author of the report.

"We are moving to an era of personal visual communication," Lampmann said today in a telephone interview. "People like the gratification of sharing photos over the Internet with friends and family."

Revenue from digital camera sales will reach US $1.9 billion this year, compared with $1.7 billion in revenue from reloadable camera sales, the study said. The cost of reloadable cameras average less than $100, while digital cameras average about $280, Lampmann said.

However, sub-$200 digital cameras are growing in popularity and are expected to exceed sales of 2.2 million units this year, according to the study, which drew on research from the Photo Marketers Association and Eastman Kodak Co.

The study, titled, "2000 Low End Digital Camera Forecast North America," can be obtained from InfoTrends Research Group in Boston at +1-617-859-0300, or at http://www.infotrends-rgi.com.

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