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Mobile phone snappers

Growing demand for camera phones

It looks like 3G might not be quite such a dead duck as it's predecessor WAP (wireless application protocol), as while punters might not be keen on browsing the web from their mobiles, sending snaps via phone is another matter.

Technology analyst Gartner, anticipates that sales of camera phones in Western Europe will more than double as prices become less astronomical.

By 2006 over half (66 percent) of new mobile phones sold will have an embedded camera, according to Gartner. This is compared to just nine percent today. But clip-on cameras, which are currently a cheap and easy way to add photo facilities to your phone, will have had their day by 2006, accounting for just 1.5 percent of the market.

Prices are high at the moment because of a shortage of the necessary chipsets and colour displays, but as supplies ramp up phones should become more affordable. The huge marketing blitz from the mobile operators hoping to cash in on an MMS (multimedia messaging service) craze should help to boost the phones' popularity.

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