China goes for mobile music and video

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China goes for mobile music and video

China, the world's largest mobile phone market, will see a massive shift to multimedia phones over the next four years, researchers predict. While the country's consumers have initially tended to opt for cheaper phones with fewer functions, the popularity of music phones and camera phones is now driving interest in more advanced models.

Around 70 percent of music and camera phone owners say they are very interested in more high-end equipment, according to a survey organised by research firm, In-Stat. Mobile phone users also expressed strong interest in phones that can play video or receive TV broadcasts.

By 2011, 133 million multimedia phones will be shipped annually in China, according to forecasts from In-Stat. This will represent more than 80 percent of the 165 million mobile phones shipped.

"Future drivers for the multimedia phone market will stem from content availability, continuous improvements in semiconductor solutions, higher data rate wireless technologies, and the combination between mobile phones and web 2.0 networks," predicts locally-based In-stat analyst, Raymond Yan.

Built-in cameras, another driver of the move to multimedia phones, are expected to become more powerful and offer higher resolutions. "In-Stat's latest survey shows that camera capability is an underserved function for China's phone users, which suggests there is still plenty of room for market growth," said Yan.

In-Stat based its assessment of user demand on a survey of approximately 1,000 Chinese citizens, conducted earlier this year.
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