As component shortages build for high-end and camera-enabled mobile phones, Toshiba looks as if it is coming up trumps with a brand new CMOS/ DSP VGA module that the company claims is one of the smallest around, ready for ramping this March. Also take a look at recent news item ‘Mobile Phones Enter 2-Mpixel Era’ Here noting a Complementary Oxide Comeback, with chips on the side, for camera phones.
Unfortunately or otherwise, this is not a “smallest” or “best” item, and it certainly isn’t the “brightest.” As a VGA solution, the CMOS sensor “only” yields 0.3 megapixel resolution, but hey, we guess that there a lot of people out there in the U.S. and Europe who would like a camera-enabled mobile at an affordable price who don’t want to be a David Bailey with their cellies yet. So here’s one for good old CMOS, stepping up to the plate to provide a cheap and cheerful solution for those who don’t want to fork out $500 for a megapixel-capable phone.
With some of the more caffeine-fueled analyst companies forecasting that there are going to be over 100 million camera phones shipped this year, it looks like Toshiba is joining the team to get that product out on the market. Let’s hope the cubicle guys are right and we don’t end up hearing stories of mystery freighters lugging 10 million unsold handsets around the high seas of asia with no-one to sell them to.
Japan Korea Camera Keitai Snapshot:
By December 2003, an astonishing 90 percent of mobile phones sold in Japan were camera enabled. In fact, it’s getting hard not to buy a 0.3 megapix camera keitai now. In Korea, camera phones accounted for 46 percent of the domestic market in 2003 and some estimates put the percentage rising to 80 percent this year. Samsung, now taking aim at Motorolla to become world #2 global seller, has said that 51 percent of its models made in 2004 will be camera enabled, up 18 percent on last year.
Of course, whether such astonishing figures are repeatable in Europe, despite best efforts from Nokia, is one of the real 64 million handset questions of the year!
Toshiba notes that it had cornered a 30% share of the global CMOS image sensor for cellular phones with cameras in 2002. They don’t mention 2003, however, when the market was A LOT bigger!
You can get the technical specifications from the company press release Here.