Consumer appetite for digital cameras this year has grown twice as fast as expected, as buyers replace older models at cheaper prices, according to research firm IDC. Many shoppers are upgrading to more powerful cameras, IDC said.
Global digital camera shipments are expected to grow by about 15% this year, IDC said, double its previous forecast of 7.5%, reversing a trend of declining growth seen over the last four years.
IDC analyst Chris Chute said cameras were becoming a kind of fashion item, a trend made popular by tiny mobile phones and Apple Inc.'s iPod digital music player. Similarly, the digital camera has become a personal, low-priced item, whose sales are now more driven by impulse than utility, especially in the United States, Japan and Europe, Chute said.