CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Smart Home

Where do they get this stuff: Camera phones expected to kill digital cameras?

A new study claims camera phones will lead to the demise of digital cameras. And while Don Reisinger can see an increase in camera phone sales, he thinks this study is pure garbage.

Nikon
Call it quits, Nikon; it's over. Crave

File this one under the "I have no basis for my opinion but I'm going to spew it anyway because it may jumpstart my sales" department. File it under the "convention of fools" department while you're at it too.

According to the Carphone Warehouse -- one of the UK's leading retailers of cell phones and services, sales of camera phones will eventually overtake digital cameras and will ultimately lead to the digital camera's demise.

To prove his point, the company's CEO had the following to say: "It's not all about megapixels. There is high consumer demand for gadget convergence - one all-purpose device to replace cameras, MP3 players and PDAs. The next stage in the evolution of the mobile phone is taking the mobile device beyond talking and texting to fulfill this demand."

Hold on, it gets even better: "The digital stills camera is a disappearing breed, in particular at the lower end of the market. Camera phones are much more convenient for capturing spontaneous shots ? people want to be able to take pictures when they want and where they want. The stand alone DSC may not be extinct yet but there is a chance it will join the VHS video tape, the Cine-film recorder and even the film camera as a technology of the past. The photographic market is changing rapidly and the digital camera's position within it is not assured."

Maybe I missed the memo, but this guy is kidding, right? He can't be this foolish. Shall we take a look at why Carphone Warehouse's CEO may take the prize for the dumbest statement made in the past month?

First off, there is no debating the fact that camera phone sales are on the rise. In fact, a study by InfoTrends asserts that camera phone sales could hit 847 million units by 2009. And while that may be enough to make you join sides with CEO of the year, the study also found that the majority of cell phones hitting shelves that year will probably stay in the 3-megapixel range and companies will focus advancements on clarity and zoom.

Suffice it to say, 3-megapixels will not replace a digital camera in any way, shape or form.

But unfortunately for camera phones, high-end D-SLR sales are on the rise and according to recent sales figures, SLRs enjoyed a 39 percent surge in sales over 2006.

If digital cameras on the way out, why are sales increasing? Maybe Carphone Warehouse could explain this to me? I doubt it.

Simply put, the study conducted by the UK firm has no basis in reality and only attempts to solidify its brand through a faulty study. Will camera phone sales increase? Undoubtedly. But will camera phones increase at the expense of digital cameras? I doubt it. After all, just because a cell phone includes a camera, it doesn't mean that people are buying it for that reason. Head down to your local carrier and try to find me more that 3 phones that don't offer a camera and then we'll talk.

Before we call for the end of digital cameras, ask yourself one question: when you bought an iPhone, did you buy it for the camera? When you picked up a Treo, did you do it for the camera? How about a RAZR or a run-of-the-mill LG or even a Samsung phone? Was it all about the camera? Of course not!

People simply don't head down to their local cell phone store and buy a phone just because it offers a camera. More often than not, it does something that others don't or in the case of children, it's "cool" and they wouldn't be embarrassed to bring it to school and show their friends.

But to say that camera phones will have a substantial impact on digital camera sales is plainly ridiculous. Who in their right mind would actually believe this? You mean to tell me, that you would gladly give up your Nikon D-50 or Canon Digital Rebel XT for a cell phone? Or for those who don't go the high-end route, you would actually throw your $300 point-and-shoot away for your camera phone?

Please.

I agree that this business is moving towards convergence, but at what point will that stop? If you ask me, it won't even knock on the door of digital cameras.

Nice one, Carphone Warehouse.

What a joke.