Whoa ! Camera Phones will be larger than internet in few months

Was groing through post from forumoxford in my mailbox and a post by Tomi Ahonen caught my eye as it was about camera phones :). Following that I checked up his blog and the title of his latest post really shook me and I am sure it would have shook many others as well.

Near future headline: More cameraphones than internet users in the world

My personal obsession & fascination with camera phones has been since many years now and I have had gushed a healthy dose about the potential of camera phone both offline and online. Many who hear my rant have been impressed, inspired and also given it a serious look and some of my friends got troubled so much by it that they have banned me talking about camera phones in their presence 🙂 Given that this post from Tomi made me literally jump up & down essentially because Tomi pinned numbers supporting the general consensus that camera phones will become huge. He also has made made some very interesting comparsions.

  • There are already 1.02 billion camera phones in the world today.
  • Given last year growth rate of camera phone & internet there will be more camera phone users than the number of internet users by late Spring 2007.
  • Nokia alone sold more than 140 million were camera phones last year (not referred in this post but in one of his previous writings here)
  • Camera phones are not toys anymore but rather devices of serious use.

I really am spinning now ! Got to go have a lot of work to do and a lot more things to think about the camera phone.


  1. Jag says:

    You are not alone Rajan, cameraphones rock! And they’re only just at the point of getting better; more usable, better quality, and, more importantly: getting to the point of being the owner’s MAIN CAMERA.

  2. rajan says:

    🙂 Totally agree !!

  3. Hi Thiyagarajan and readers of the Living on the Edge blog

    Thanks for mentioning my posting, and yes, we both share the passion for cameraphones. I think two giant changes will take place. One is the “recording utility” fuction of the phone. Much like today, if you find any nice item of digital pictures or word documents or powerpoint slides or pdf files, etc, that you discover, you don’t even think of it, as you make a copy of it for yourself, on the PC hard drive (am now assuming the content is not subject to digital rights management issues eg music, movies etc). As long as its in the public domain and by format is free to copy, if we like it, we make a copy for ourselves, whatever it happens to be.

    It wasn’t like that before the internet and PCs. In the time of photocopiers and typewriters we really had to consider, do we want to copy that (cost) and file it (hassle). We always made that judgement if we found something interesting. But today it is an automatic reflex.

    I think the same will happen with cameraphones, as we become fully accustomed to them. I’m sure its happened to every cameraphone onwer at some point,, that you leave a party and think “I should have taken a picture of that person” after the fact. We forget that we had the ability all along, in our pocket. But that will change, and soon we routinely snap pictures of everything possibly interesting, and also very rapidly and ruthlessly delete the non-essentials.

    The other change is something I just blogged about, which is 2D barcodes (QR codes). When most people hear bar code, they think supermarket check-out counter. Forget that concept. Didn’t you ever wish you had a private secretary who could do your typing? Well, in a kind of way, 2D barcodes are that “virtual typist” for us. Even more valuable on phone keypads than with PC full qwerty keyboards.

    But you have to have a cameraphone (and some software) to scan 2D barcodes. This is a HUGE change to data entry, and to get “more information” on our phones. A time will very soon come, when we won’t type ANY website addresses on our phone keypads. Some links are sent to us. Some are stored. Some are embedded in our previous pages. But practically all NEW websites will be entered simply by pointing our camera at the “thumbprint” image and the cameraphone does the rest.

    How big? In 2 years in Japan, 56% of all NTT DoCoMo customers already use 2D barcodes. It will totally revolutionize how we enter data into our phones. 2D barcodes will be literally everywhere from your airline ticket to the business card to the magazine advertisement to billboard at the bus stop, etc. And this too, is a benefit from cameraphones.

    Visit my blogsite for more at http://www.communities-dominate.blogs.com

    PS Thiyagarajan – I’m looking forward to your follow-up thoughts, please post them also at Forum Oxford, ok?

    Tomi Ahonen 🙂

  4. Rajan says:

    Sorry for the delayed response I have posted my detailed response on QR codes just now at forum oxford. As I mentioned more than a usability enhancing mode I am much more thrilled by the capacity of 2D barcodes to add more information to the web. The nature of bridging the physical world with virtual world is going to be a huge shift. Also it shifts the network effects to physical world which is one of the coolest part 🙂


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