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M: Metrics reports continued growth in photo messaging

Advanced camera phones drive consumer spending in burgeoning sector.

Mobile consumer market measurement firm, M: Metrics, has released its latest insight into the wireless space, revealing a marked increase in consumer spending on photo messaging, prompted by a proliferation of high resolution camera phones.

The company reports a 32 per cent increase in photo messaging in the US since February, further noting a 20 per cent rise in France, 16 per cent in the UK and a relatively static German market - where 19 per cent of mobile consumers used photo messaging in June.

Mark Donovan, M: Metrics' VP and senior analyst, commented: "At 50.7 per cent, the number of mobile subscribers in France, Germany, the UK and the US owning camera phones has grown 22 per cent since February this year."

"We also see a direct correlation between camera resolution and propensity to use photo messaging, as 44.3 per cent of subscribers who own phones with camera with resolutions exceeding one mega-pixel sent a photo over the network, versus a global average of 30.5 per cent," Donovan added.

According to the firm's analysis of the markets, Motorola's RAZR is the most popular camera phone both in the US and the UK at the moment, French consumers preferring Sagem's my X-5 and Germans favouring Nokia's 6230.

However, in terms of conversion rates (those using their phones to generate operator revenue by sending photo messages), Nokia rules the airwaves with the 6630 in France, 6280 in Germany and the 6111in the UK. US consumers opt for the Danger Sidekick II.

M: Metrics believes that the sector will continue to grow over the coming months, as more advanced mobile handsets enter the market and consumers begin to rely on their handsets for much more than telephony functions.

More information on the latest report can be found by visiting M:Metrics' website.

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