Research firm InfoTrends published findings from a report entitled "Worldwide Camera Phone Forecast: 2007-2012" last week that suggest the number of camera phones sold will nearly double by 2012.
According to the research, emerging markets will be the primary driver of sales increases from 700 million units in 2007 to an anticipated 1.3 billion camera phones by 2012. Developing economies in Southeast Asia are predicted to continue to push growth according to the report, alongside significant gains in the Eastern European, African, and Middle Eastern markets.
Not surprisingly, increased resolution and optical quality are making camera phones increasingly more attractive to consumers. Per the press release, "InfoTrends believes that in addition to spurring an increase in camera phone ownership, the availability of higher resolution phones will cause an upsurge in camera phone photographic behaviors such as taking, sharing, printing, and storing photos."
Interestingly, worldwide camera phone sales have consistently outpaced digital camera sales by a significant margin in the last few years, with most data putting global digital camera sales for 2007 somewhere below the 100 million unit mark.