The number of digital images captured, shared and received will grow at a sustained average of 24pc between 2004 and 2009, boosting the worldwide growth of total prints volume to an average of 14pc in that period, a new set of studies from IDC reveals.
Affluent PC users with disposable income and a keen interest in digital photography will continue to capture more and more images resulting in an increase in the number of images printed worldwide, the company said.
Inexpensive flash memory cards will be the key driver for both the digital image creation and image printing forecasts as well as a prevalence of imaging technologies in mobile phones, combined with a decline in print pricing according to IDC.
“Images captured from camera phones and other devices will not contribute as much as those captured with digital cameras, and camera phones will eventually become more video-centric devices,” said Christopher Chute, senior analyst with IDC’s Digital Imaging Solutions and Services programme.
“The promise of digital photography lies with customised personal printing solutions, as digital camera users will move away from commodity printing toward creative printing solutions.”
According to IDC sharing images captured from any device remains one of the top imaging applications worldwide. While digital camera users will still create the most images over the forecast period, camera phone users will take close to 40pc of the total images captured worldwide in 2009.
European users, IDC said, will contribute more to the printing volumes due to the increased prevalence of digital still cameras in the region.
Internet-to-retail pricing will grow 55pc between 2005 and 2009, while printing revenue share will begin to equalise between the home and retail environments by 2009.
By John Kennedy