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Digital cameras fuelling demand; set to give way to demand from mobile phones by 2005

Unit demand for flash memory cards for digital consumer products is set to drive compound annual growth of more than 41% according to Future Horizons Semiconductor Monthly Update report.

Future Horizons reports that worldwide sales of flash memory cards reached $4.1 billion in 2003, accounting for 106.2 million units. It forecasts that sales will rise by a compound annual growth rate of 30.8%to reach $15.9 billion by 2008, equivalent to 611.0 millions units.

In 2003 digital still cameras dominated unit sales of flash memory cards, accounting for 47 million units (44.3%), while mobile phone accounted for 32 million units (30.1%), digital camcorders 11.2 million units (10.5%), with other consumer products such as personal digital assistances (PDAs), MP3 players and global positioning systems (GPS) accounting for 16 million units (15.1%).

Future Horizons predicts that by 2005 flash memory card usage will be dominated by mobile phones and that by 2008 this segment with account for 68.7% of the market, equivalent to 89 million units per year. It predicts that by 2008 digital still cameras will account for 89 million units (14.6%), digital camcorder will account for 39 million units (6.4%) and other applications accounting for 63 million units (10.3%).

"Mobile phones are the real upcoming catalyst for the flash memory card market. Over the next three years in order to enhance capabilities the average mobile phone will have a removable card with over 1GB of flash either installed at the same time of purchase or as an after market sales," said Malcolm Penn, chief executive office, Future Horizons.

Over the period 2004 to 2008, Future Horizons forecasts a change in the landscape of flash card memory formats with the miniSD, reduced-size multimedia and Sony memory stick becoming the most common. By 2008 Future Horizons predicts that miniSD will account for 35.5%% of the market, reduce-sized multimedia 19.0% and Sony memory stick 24.0%.

"In general it is the product manufacturer that decides on the flash card format used in a particular product and a combination of manufacturing from major consumer electronics brands, coupled with the needs for smaller formats is pushing out some of the early formats such as Smart Media and CompactFlash," said Penn.

The Future Horizons Semiconductor Monthly Update Report is published monthly and available from Future Horizons priced at £1,000 for a single user license or £2,200 for a multi-user intranet version.

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About Future Horizons
Future Horizons, founded in 1989, is Europe's leading semiconductor analyst. It provides market research and business support services for use in opportunity analysis, business planning and new market development. Its industry information seminars and Forums are widely considered to be the best of their kind. Future Horizons publishes a series of monthly, half-yearly and annual market reports, with emphasis is placed on the worldwide microelectronics and electronics industry and the European market environment. See for further information.

Editorial Contacts

Malcolm Penn
Future Horizons
+ +44 (0)1732 740440

Stephen Waddington
Rainier PR
+44 (0)20 7494 6570

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