The Economist’s “Mobile Snaps” article says:
Sales of camera-phones are expected to grow from around 19m in 2002 to over 34m this year, according to IDC, a market-research firm. By 2005 they are likely to outsell film and digital cameras put together.
The one issue I have with the comparison of film, digital and phone cams is that most people who buy phone-cams are really buying phones that happen to have cameras in them, not cameras with phones in them.
Without real customer need and usable interface cameras in cell phones will have the same impact on digital photography that web browsers in phones had on Internet browsing — minimal.
My guess is that the value of having a camera with you at all times will cause a real revolution in what people think is “camera worthy”.
We’re seeing a long-term trend where we went from going somewhere to have your portrait taken, to film cameras there were when going on vacation and to birthday parties. Disposables get used as “fun”, and now digital cameras allow high volume snapping and post-picture editing (vs limiting what you snap in the first place to save on film). My guess is that phone-cameras will create a snap-crazy culture that doesn’t look at photos as precious, but rather as a simple way to capture anything visual that needs capturing.