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Will Digital Photo Frames Ever See Success?

by Sean P. Aune | January 28, 2010January 28, 2010 2:24 pm PDT

It seems that every consumer electronics brand large and small has launched at least one digital photo frame, but one has to wonder why you aren’t seeing them in more homes and offices.  What haven’t digital photo frames been as successful as you would think they might be in this age of digital photos?

As physical film is quickly going the way of the dinosaur, digital photography has created millions upon millions of digital photos, some of which you would probably even enjoy displaying.  So why don’t you have a digital frame yet?  To date I know of exactly two people that own digital picture frames: myself and a manager at my local bank, and I got mine as a gift.  Where are all of these frames going?  Someone has to be buying them.

photo frameAccording to a recent article from TWICE (This Week In Consumer Electronics) magazine covering a recent study that had been done on the future of the devices, people are buying them, but they aren’t expected to be huge for another couple years yet.  A full 38 percent of people buying frames at the moment are buying them as gifts, but in general sales just haven’t been what people expected due to the slowing economy.  As things improve, and the cost of materials drops, sales are expected to rise to new record levels.

The study looked forward through 2013 and saw the cost of components dropping to $36 a unit, and potentials sales moving to 50 million units per year.

One of the biggest points consumers seem to be waiting for is when every unit will have Wi-Fi connectivity, but personally I think part of what is keeping people away from them is that they simply aren’t that attractive.  When you go and buy a frame for a traditional photo, you are inundated with choices of shapes, decor, color and more, but with digital frames you get … a box.  And in most cases, a fairly unattractive casing, although there are exceptions.

There is also the fact that people like to spread pictures through out their homes, and at the current cost of the frames, that just isn’t an option for most.  Buying one frame is bad enough, now imagine buying one for the bedroom, one for the family room, one for the hallway and so on.

More than likely the technology will be around for a long time, and it probably will catch on in a bigger way over time, but there are some definite hurdles for it to still overcome to gain wide acceptance.


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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