10/1/2004 - According to a survey sponsored by Texas Instruments Incorporated (NYSE: TXN)(TI), 97 percent of European digital still camera owners and 99 percent of those intending to purchase within six months (intenders) rate picture quality as the most important attribute to consider when making a product selection. Resolution rated as the second most important attribute for owners at 91 percent, and ease of use ranked third at 85 percent. For intenders, the second and third most important attributes were ease of use at 89 percent, and resolution at 86 percent, respectively. (See www.ti.com/eurores.)
"Ultimately, the results from TI's survey are consistent with IDC's research," said Chris Chute, senior research analyst, digital imaging, IDC. "The European digital camera market is an important one to watch, as it is the second largest region of growth - holding 33 percent of global shipments in 2003 (15.6 million units). We anticipate that Europe will continue to hold this position as it experiences an average growth rate of five percent through 2007."
Additional Survey Results
Of the 15 attributes listed in the survey, both the digital still camera owners and intenders rate the same top three elements to consider regarding the purchase of a camera. Conversely, results indicate that price is more important to the intenders than to owners. In addition, 58 percent of owners have 2-3 megapixel (MP) cameras; but if given an option, 64 percent would prefer a camera with 4MP or more. In addition, a computer/printer connection and wireless connectivity were significantly more important to intenders than to current digital camera owners.
"TI has conducted this study in the US for the last two years in order to verify that the design and development for our digital media processors remains in line with what the camera OEMs - and ultimately consumers - are asking for," said John Daniels, worldwide marketing manager for TI's Digital Camera Solutions group. "As the original research proved to be highly valuable and informative to both ourselves and our customers, this year it made sense to extend that research to include Europe, which has experienced an explosive growth in this market."
The Silicon Drives Camera Features
Picture quality and resolution are attributes that TI directly influences with its DSP-based digital media processor platform. This technology contributes to overall, industry-leading picture quality with high-speed processing capabilities, enabling greater resolution, sharper, higher-quality pictures, video capabilities and advanced features, such as in-camera photo editing. Because this programmable processor is able to crunch greater volumes of data at higher speeds, it not only is able to provide higher resolution images, but it also allows OEMs to add advanced features much faster than if they had chosen a non-programmable solution, such as the ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit).
The Emergence of In-Camera Photo Editing
TI´s evolving digital media processing technology has recently enabled OEMs to integrate in-camera photo editing and advanced feature capabilities into their products, such as red-eye removal. "Twenty four percent of digital camera owners ranked in-camera editing as very or extremely important," said Daniels. "We expect this number to rise as more camera owners realize these new features that are available this holiday season."
Completed between January 8 and January 20, 2004, TI sponsored this blind online survey among 602 participants, all of who were at least 18 years old with a total household income of $35,000 or more. Respondents were polled in Germany (50 percent), the UK (30 percent) and France (20 percent). Over half of the respondents were between the ages of 30 - 44, almost 60 percent of which was male. The survey polled the importance to owners and intenders of various attributes including picture quality, ease of use, resolution, price, battery life, computer/printer connection, zoom capabilities, size and brand, among others.
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