TOKYO-Shipments of mobile phones with cameras surged from 6 million units in 2001 to 23 million units in 2003 in Japan, according to a survey conducted by a research institute.
Mobile phones with cameras have become popular in Japan after J-Phone, a Vodafone Group company, released the first such handset through its “sha-mail” service last year. Sha means taking a picture in Japanese. To ride on the big boom, both KDDI and NTT DoCoMo launched their own mobile phones with cameras. NTT DoCoMo on 17 July launched two new mobile phones with cameras, one manufactured by Fujitsu and the other manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric.
Yano Research Institute, a major market research company in Japan, said in a report released on 15 July that shipments of camera-enabled mobile phones will surge in Japan due to NTT DoCoMo’s entrance into the market.
Multimedia Research Institute, another major marketing research company in Japan, on 17 July said the country’s overall mobile handset sales in June increased by 12 percent on the year to 3.82 million units. It was the first time the monthly sales figure exceeded the previous month since June 2001. Multimedia Research Institute attributed the surge in sales to NTT DoCoMo’s strong sales and the boom of mobile handsets with cameras. Multimedia Research Institute predicts monthly sales will reach 4 million units soon.