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CVS Selling Disposable Camcorder

June 07, 2005|From Reuters

CVS Corp. began selling a disposable digital camcorder Monday that the nation's No. 2 drugstore chain hopes will boost its photo lab business and be as popular as single-use film and digital cameras.

Pure Digital Technologies Inc., a San Francisco-based start-up company, developed the $29.99 pocket-size device.

Jonathan Kaplan, chief executive of Pure Digital, said CVS was the first retailer to offer such a camcorder but he expected the gadget to be widely distributed as it gained popularity.

It weighs less than 5 ounces and holds 20 minutes of video and sound. It features a 1.4-inch color playback screen and the ability to delete video, which it saves on a memory chip.

After shooting, customers return the recyclable camcorder to a CVS store. Its contents can then be transferred onto a DVD for a $12.99 processing fee.

Single-use film and digital cameras have been cited by analysts as among key drivers of repeat visits to stores.

The camcorder is manufactured in China and the memory chip is supplied by Samsung Electronics Co.

The single-use camera category has grown to 218 million units annually and is expected to account for 38% of total film volume in the U.S. this year, said Mike Wolf, director of digital photography trends at InfoTrends/CAP Ventures, a market research firm.

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