Well-to-do PC users crazy about digital photography will be snapping more images in 2006, providing a boost to global photo-printing, IDC said yesterday.
The number of images captured, shared, and received will increase at a sustained average of 24 percent from 2004 to 2009, boosting the worldwide growth of total prints volume to an average of 14 percent over the same forecast period, the industry tracker said.
IDC pointed out that inexpensive flash memory cards will be the key driver for both the digital image creation and image printing forecasts, as well as a prevalence of imaging technologies in mobile phones, combined with a decline in print pricing.
"Images captured from camera phones and other devices will not contribute as much as those captured with digital cameras, and camera phones will eventually become more video-centric devices," said Christopher Chute, senior analyst with IDC's Digital Imaging Solutions and Services program.
"The promise of digital photography lies with customized personal printing solutions, as digital camera users will move away from commodity printing toward creative printing solutions."
Meanwhile, the combined shipment value for eight major product categories shipped by Taiwan's IT hardware industry is expected to reach over US$85.6 billion in 2006, a Taipei-based research house said yesterday.
According to the Market Intelligence Center, the combined shipment value of the country's hardware vendors will get a "powerful" boost from growth of laptops and LCD monitors.
In terms of shipment value, notebook PCs and LCD monitors are expected to respectively see an increase of 17.9 percent and 5.1 percent to US$35.8 billion and US$20.5 billion.
Other product categories such as servers and desktop PCs are expected to grow between nine percent and 11 percent, while digital still cameras are anticipated by climb by 26.2 percent, MIC said.
"During 2006, gains in many of the product categories will come from value-line models and emerging markets as the industry's mainstream shipments are based on mature technology," the industry tracker said.
"This is likely to intensify Taiwanese dominance of global IT hardware industry volume, but will bring with it inevitable price declines."