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The digital camera market is "running out of steam", according to research from Strategy Analytics, which has recorded a surge in demand for camera phones.

It seems demand for camera phones could hit demand for digital cameras with the major players struggling to maintain current growth rates.

Four in ten of all mobile phones shipped last year had built-in cameras. In all, 257 million camera phones were shipped worldwide during 2004 accounting for 38 per cent of all handset sales, well up on the 84 million camera phones shipped a year earlier.

Nokia accounted for 18 per cent of market share, followed by Motorola (17 per cent) and Samsung (13 per cent) as global sales grew 200 per cent on the year.

At the same time, camera phones outsold digital still cameras by almost four to one.

According to analyst Chris Ambrosio: "The digital still camera market is running out of steam. Vendors such as Kodak, Canon and Fuji will find growth harder to achieve in 2006."

He reckons that by 2010, camera phones will account for 15 per cent of the low-end digital still camera market. Which is nice. ®

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