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For Everyday Photography, Cell Phones are Growing as Camera of Choice

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Note -- this news article is more than a year old.

Online mobile phone retailer, Wirefly has published the results of its new behavioral survey on consumer camera phone usage, showing significant penetration of cell phones as the camera of choice for young adults in the USA.

Compiled through a survey of thousands of adult cell phone users in the U.S., the survey illustrated the growth and increasingly diverse uses of cell phone cameras. 45.9% of respondents report using their cell phone cameras at least once a week - with many saying they snap a photo with their cell phone every day.

Frequency of camera phone use is even greater with young adult consumers. 63.8% of adults age 18-30 say that they use their cell phone's camera at least once a week, with 26.3% reporting daily use. Those figures fall to 40.7% and 13.2%, respectively, for consumers over the age of 30.

Also, nearly three out of every four (73.5%) adults age 18-30 assign photo IDs to people in their address book, while just 47.4% of the over-30 crowd do the same.

Documenting nightlife: Social Uses Drive Camera Phone Adoption

'Family events' and 'scenery/sightseeing' remain the top reasons cited for using a camera phone, but social uses separated younger adults from the over-30 crowd. 58.3% of cell phone users age 18-30 report using a cell phone regularly 'to document nightlife,' while just 29.9% of those over 30 made a similar claim. In addition, those age 18-30 use their camera phones to publish photos to online social media four times as much as respondents over 30 years of age.

Other interesting results from the full pool of respondents include:

  • 96.3% of adult cell phone owners report that they have a cell phone with a camera.
  • 19% of adults prefer to use their cell phone as their primary camera for all photography.
  • 77.2% of photos taken remain stored in the phone, 45.4% are used as wallpaper and 38.6% are sent to friends via MMS.
  • 20.2% of respondents say they have snapped a photo of an attractive man/woman, and 7.5% have photographed an unsuspecting stranger.
  • 46.4% of all adults and 2/3 of adults age 18-30 say that they use their cell phone to snap self-portraits.
  • 19.8% say they have snuck a picture while pretending to do something else.
  • 13.9% of adults report that they have sent a flirtatious, suggestive, or nude photo - a figure that rises to 28.1% of respondents age 18-30.

"Camera phones are taking over, and it's being driven by young adults," said Scott Ableman, Wirefly's Senior Vice President of Marketing. "High-quality cell phone cameras haven't been around that long, yet nearly one in five cell phone buyers tell us that their cell phone is their primary camera."

"Sharing and social media are the drivers," said Ableman. "Fifty-eight percent of adults age 18-30 tell us they use their camera phones to document nightlife, and one in five say they've published camera phone pictures to a social website or blog. It's a more spontaneous kind of photography that's perfectly suited for the cell phone, and as more low-priced and free phones come with quality cameras and high-speed internet connections, all barriers have been removed."

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Tags: mms  camera phone  cell phone  wirefly