The camera phone has overtaken digital and film cameras as the dominant form of image capture device, according to a US-based research company.

?Camera phones have now become the most prevalent image capture devices in the world,? said a spokesman for Lyra Research, a company specialising in the digital imaging industry. ?The global installed base of camera phones has now surpassed that of film and digital cameras combined.?

The figures appear to fly in the face of statistics released last year which predicted that camera phones would not dominate image capture until 2009, according to a report by InfoTrends/CAP Ventures (see AP 19 February 2005).

Lyra?s figures suggest that the ‘installed base’ of camera phones will swell this year to 850m units and rocket to more than 1.5billion by 2010.

The researchers predict that camera phone picture quality will improve substantially over the next few years and consumers will become ?increasingly familiar with the incredible inherent benefit of wireless connectivity for images?.