Japan’s cell phone makers, pioneers of the camera-equipped handset, look set to intrude into digital camera makers’ turf as a fierce battle for market share draws them toward photo-phones with million-pixel resolution. No one is yet consigning digital cameras to the high-tech scrap heap, but some of the dozen or so handset makers that crowd the Japanese market are preparing to launch “megapixel” photo phones this year with picture quality good enough to make prints.
Smaller players such as Fujitsu or Mitsubishi Electric would be the first to make the leap to megapixels, hoping to emulate Sharp’s success last year with innovative camera-phones. Continue
COMMENTARY: Battery life and bandwidth (not to mention onboard memory) will affect the recording of megapixel images more so than they have affected the tiny images recorded by camera phones thus far. Current cameras can achieve 310,000 pixels – providing images equal to those seen on early PC monitors. But to achieve real “keeper” photos, you need about 1 million pixels. Kyocera will launch a megapixel handset in Japan this autumn; DoCoMo should have one out in May or June – Sony Ericsson should follow suit. Next problem: printing out all those gorgeous photos that snappers will take with their cameras.