Both Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Nokia will begin selling bundled phone and printer options in the Irish market in the New Year, as phone-maker Nokia affirms a growing demand for mobile camera and associated printing products. The partnership follows upon similar deals with Kodak which manifested itself in the form of digital printing kiosks at Boots stores around Ireland.
Gavin Barrett, multimedia business manager for Nokia Ireland, told journalists yesterday that there were some 200 million camera phones sold in the world during 2004. “Going forward, this market is going to grow and grow. We also see an emerging market for personal mass storage and broadband on the move. In fact, we believe that personal mass storage will be a commodity in the years ahead.”
Barrett was speaking at the launch of Nokia’s latest smart phone, the 6630 (pictured), which the company claims is the world’s smallest 3G phone. With the built-in memory and in-box MultiMediaCard (MMC), the Nokia 6630 features 74MB, making it easy to store images, videos, music and other multimedia content.
The Nokia 6630 smart phone incorporates a 1.3MP camera and one to 6x variable digital zoom for picture and video capture. The Nokia 6630 also supports wireless printing directly from the handset, using solutions by HP and Kodak. In addition to wireless printing, the MMC can be easily extracted from the side of the phone and inserted into a compatible printer.
Barrett revealed that the company will be unveiling more than 20 different phone models with MP technology in 2005.
The bundle option that Nokia and HP will be pushing in the months ahead will feature Nokia’s 6670 and 7610 phones and HP’s Photosmart 375 Compact Photo Printer, a portable printer that can print 4×6 inch colour pictures. A special Bluetooth adapter will be included in the bundle, which will enable users to print photos instantly and wirelessly.
Robert Conan of HP’s EMEA mobile phone imaging and printing division, said there were strong trends that indicate the mobile camera market is still growing. “Some 60pc of mobile camera phone users take pictures of family and friends and printing them at home is really the preferred method. We predict that 80pc of camera phones will support between 2MP and 3MP technology by 2007. In 2003, the mobile phone camera market actually outgrew the digital camera market.”
Barrett said that important mobile trends to emerge in 2005 will include visual radio, whereby phone owners who listen to radio through their mobile device will receive images of popstars as they listen to songs, view ads and take part in competitions over their phone. Another trend that will follow from this will be real-time TV applications on 3G phones “that we see as certainly viable in 2006”.
In terms of the corporate market, Barrett’s colleague, major account manager Eoin Cruise, said that there has been a considerable merging of desktop business applications and mobile applications, whereby functions such as email and instant messaging are now freely available on most new phones and desktop computer users can send text messages, for example.
Cruise said: “Some 60pc of staff in Global 2000 companies will have access to corporate applications over mobile by 2007. Also by 2007, it is envisaged that 40pc of corporate applications on the desktop will have a mobility element.”
By John Kennedy