By Matthew Southwell
The sluggish worldwide economomy has forced mobile device hardware vendors and service providers to search for new ways to drive device sales and increase subscriber revenues.
The sluggish worldwide economomy has forced mobile device hardware vendors and service providers to search for new ways to drive device sales and increase subscriber revenues. According to IDC, the solution could well be the integration of digital imaging capabilities into handsets and PDAs, as the analyst house reports that 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,” says 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,” he adds.Leading the way in imaging-enabled mobile phones is Japan. The country’s 2.5G wireless connectivity is encouraging 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. 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,” says 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,” he adds.