November 15, 2004 – The Consumer Electronics Association released their annual holiday sales forecast and they are projecting a profitable season for the technology market. The survey found the most desirable gift to be a plasma TV, followed by a digital camera, laptop, color TV and portable MP3 player. Plasma televisions haven’t penetrated the market like digital cameras have. 39 percent of those surveyed already own a digital camera. In a different survey conducted by CEA, 61 percent of online adults owned a digital camera, suggesting that the more technologically savvy are more likely to own digital cameras.
"With consumer adoption fast approaching the 50 percent mark, it’s important to delve deeper into the satisfaction rates of current owners," said Sean Wargo, a CEA industry analyst. "Through this survey, we were able to determine that image quality and feature sets are what drive owner satisfaction when it comes to digital still cameras and camera phones."
The survey found that 88 percent of respondents cited image quality as their top priority and portability a close second at 81 percent. Many recent releases of digital cameras are evidence of this demand. Manufacturers advertise better image processors, more megapixels and compact sizes.
Many manufacturers worry that camera phones will interfere with their share of the market. However, new research shows that 29 percent of camera phone owners don’t even use the camera function. About 28 percent of camera phone users take disposable pictures, 19 percent actually store the photos and 15 percent share their pictures via email.
This year, the average American household plans to spend around $600 on holiday gifts – a total of $63 billion. While a plasma TV sounds out of the price range for the average American, a decent digital camera is a feasible and practical gift.