U.S. consumers like their camera phones, but only one in five is using the devices to send photos to others, a market research firm said Monday.
The survey from The NPD Group is bad news for wireless carriers, which had hoped to make additional money from people using data services to ship pictures.
Since late 2002, the year camera phones were introduced, the number of users have increased to half of all mobile subscribers, NPD said. Fully 73 percent of the users said they were very or somewhat satisfied with the purchase.
Nevertheless, four out of five camera-phone owners say they leave their pictures in the devices, as if they were portable digital photo albums. As a result, the level of actual photo sharing has been disappointing for carriers.
Cost was the biggest factor in not sharing photos wirelessly, NPD said. About six out of 10 of the survey respondents said they weren't entirely sure about the price for sending photos, which means they were less likely to do it.
Among manufacturers, Sanyo camera phones got the highest ranking in the survey for overall satisfaction. Among carriers, Alltel phones led the pack.