Study Predicts “Imminent Death” of Film Cameras

October 6, 2009 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones, Film | Comment | |
News image

Ontela released survey results today that are said to indicate the “imminent death of the traditional film camera” amongst U.S. consumers. The last three years of data have shown a steady decline in people who report owning a traditional film camera, decreasing from 67% in 2007, to 61% in 2008, and dropping all the way to 48% in 2009. Conversely, camera phones continue to grow in ubiquity, going from just 70% reporting that they owned a phone with a camera in 2007, to 78% in 2008 and 87% in 2009. Despite respondents’ growing ownership of camera phones and usage of data, their ability to get the pictures off their phones to their PCs or the web has stayed consistently low. When asked to upload a picture to the web, 74% of respondents failed in 2007, compared to 81% in 2008 and 61% in 2009. Users were frustrated, however, since 90% expressed a desire to upload pictures. Some of the top desired destinations included the user’s own computer hard drive at 71%, Facebook at 54% and Photobucket at 25%.

Press Release

Camera Phone Officially Kills Film Camera

Cell Phone Data and Messaging Usage Continues to Grow and People Still Can’t Get Pictures Off Their Phones According to Results from Third Year of Ontela’s Mobile Technology Market Survey

SEATTLE—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Ontela, Inc. (http://www.ontela.com), provider of award-winning imaging services for wireless carriers, released survey results today that indicate the imminent death of the traditional film camera amongst U.S. consumers. The results further indicate that cell phone data and messaging plans are still on the rise, and that people are having more difficulty than ever getting pictures off their camera phones despite a strong desire to save their pictures to a wide variety of destinations. The survey data was restricted to U.S. residents only and had 414 respondents.

The last three years of data have shown a steady decline in people who report owning a traditional film camera, decreasing from 67% in 2007, to 61% in 2008, and dropping all the way to 48% in 2009. Conversely, camera phones continue to grow in ubiquity, going from just 70% reporting that they owned a phone with a camera in 2007, to 78% in 2008 and 87% in 2009.

Data and messaging plans showed strong year-over-year growth amongst respondents, with data penetration growing from 16% in 2008 to 27% in 2009. Messaging showed similar growth, rising from 28% penetration in 2008 to 52% in 2009.

Despite respondents growing ownership of camera phones and usage of data, their ability to get the pictures off their phones to the web has stayed consistently low. When asked to upload a picture to the web, 74% of respondents failed in 2007, compared to 81% in 2008 and 61% in 2009. Users were frustrated, however, since 90% expressed a desire to upload pictures. Some of the top desired destinations included the user’s own computer hard drive at 71%, Facebook at 54%, their e-mail at 53%, and Photobucket at 25%.

With such a large discrepancy between the percentage of respondents who wish to save their camera phone picture and the percentage of those who can actually do it, there is a strong need for services that simplify the process of getting pictures off camera phones.

“While the death of the film camera marks a sad day in photographic history, consumers can take solace in the fact that Ontela is working hard to preserve the memories they capture on their camera phones,” said Dan Shapiro, CEO of Ontela. “As camera phones are now recording five, eight, and even 12 megapixels, consumers need to know that they will be able to peruse their pictures on the computer the same way their parents looked back on the stack of photos in the shoebox stuffed in the closet.”

About Ontela
Ontela provides technology infrastructure to wireless carriers that allows consumers to unlock the photos in their camera phones. Ontela’s PicDeck technology has been certified by 30 operators including Verizon, T-Mobile, and Alltel on more than 100 handsets. It is also available preinstalled on devices from all five of the top global handset manufacturers. Ontela is headquartered in Seattle and is backed by Steamboat Ventures, Hunt Ventures, Voyager Capital, and Oak Investment Partners. For more information, visit http://www.ontela.com.



Your Comments