According to a press release issued by Lyra Research, Europe took the top spot for digital camera shipments from the United States which is now second in terms of shipments. Total shipments in 2004 exceeded 60 million units, up 35% compared to 2003, Lyra forecast that shipments will surpass 100 million units in 2008.

Press Release:

Lyra Research Projects Worldwide Digital Camera Shipments Will Exceed 100 Million Units in 2008

In 2004 Europe surpassed the United States in unit shipments

NEWTONVILLE, MA (February 22, 2005) — Coinciding with this year's Photo Marketing Association (PMA) show in Orlando, FL, Lyra Research's Digital Photography Advisory Service has issued its worldwide digital camera forecast. Digital still camera shipments surpassed 63 million units worldwide in 2004, up more than 35 percent compared with 2003. Worldwide digital still camera shipments will surpass 100 million units in 2008.

In 2004, for the first time ever, Europe became the largest market in terms of unit shipments, taking the top spot from the United States, which is now second in terms of shipments. Japan is the third-largest market.

The 3-megapixel category remained the most popular digital camera segment in 2004, but shipments are increasing in the 4-, 5-, and 6-megapixel segments. Most point-and-shoot cameras now shipping are 4- and 5-megapixel models, and Lyra expects that, by 2005, 5+-megapixel cameras will account for more worldwide shipments than any other segment.

"The desire to produce prints from digital cameras is now a key factor in the consumer purchase decision. Many new camera buyers do not go to the store looking just for a digital camera—they are looking for a total photographic solution," says Robert Palmer, director of Lyra's Digital Photography Advisory Service. Camera and printer bundles proved very popular last year, and Lyra expects these solutions to gain further momentum in 2005. "Explosive growth in digital camera sales will fuel the market for photographic prints," says Palmer. "More than 18 billion prints were produced from digital camera images in 2004, two-thirds of which were produced in the home."

Lyra Research's Digital Photography Advisory Service (DPS) is an online competitive research tool for marketing and product managers in the digital camera, photo-quality printer, and online photo-service industries. The DPS provides the advice and insight necessary to tap into the possibilities of today's digital imaging market.