Asia camera phone shipments doubled in 2005, says GfK

Shipments of camera phones in Asia doubled in 2005 compared to the previous year, GfK Asia said Wednesday.

Shipments of camera-equipped cell phones in Asia doubled in 2005 compared to the previous year thanks to strong demand from consumers, market research company GfK Asia Pte Ltd. said Wednesday.

The company estimated camera phone shipments totaled 88.4 million phones in 2005 while the entire cell phone market grew 16 percent to 191.3 million units. The camera phone market was worth US$23.8 billion, up 57 percent, while the entire cell phone market was worth US$34.8 billion, up 7 percent on the year, according to the company's estimates. The lower growth rates for shipment value versus shipment units indicates that the average price of each cell phone sold went down.

The survey is based on point-of-sale data collected from 15,000 retail outlets in 11 Asian countries or territories. They are: China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and India.

The largest market in the region, both in unit and value terms, was China. Cell phone shipments there totaled 110.4 million units, up 11 percent, and camera phone shipments totaled 49.7 million units, up 149 percent. The Chinese market was worth US$20.2 billion in 2005, up 2 percent on 2004, said GfK.

India also recorded strong growth with overall shipments up 49 percent to 30.9 million units of which camera phone shipments were 5.5 million units, up 275 percent on 2004. The Indian market was worth US$2.4 billion in 2005, up 25 percent.

Two markets saw handset shipments fall in 2005 compared to 2004. South Korea dropped 1 percent to 14 million units and Singapore fell by 1 percent to 1.7 million units, said GfK. However in both markets the total value of handsets shipped increased, reflecting consumer preference for higher-end feature rich phones.

For this year the company anticipates cell phone shipments in the region will grow 17 percent to 223.9 million units.

GfK also announced on Wednesday digital still camera shipment data for 2005. The company estimated total shipments in the same 11 countries were 13.6 million units in 2005, up 29.5 percent on 2004. For this year GfK expects the figure will rise to over 15.6 million units, the company said. More than one in three cameras sold in the region in 2005 went to China, where total shipments increased 58 percent on the year.

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