Logitech Reaches WebCam Milestone: 25 Million Sold
New Video Applications, Availability of Broadband Internet Make Webcams Part of Today´s Digital Lifestyle
FREMONT, CA. — March 2, 2005 — Logitech (SWX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) today announced a new milestone: it has sold more than 25 million webcams worldwide. Logitech, which has sold more webcams than any other company in the world, has shipped approximately 37 percent of the world´s supply of webcams since 1998, according to research firm IDC. Logitech continued its market leadership during calendar year 2004 by shipping 38 percent of webcams sold worldwide, IDC reported, including 42 percent of webcams sold in the U.S.
The popularity of webcams among consumers has been fueled by the availability of affordable, high-quality webcams, as well new video communications applications enabled by broadband Internet connections in the home. These new applications, such as video instant messaging and video calling, make it easy and fun for people to stay in touch with friends and family who might be anywhere else in the world. With video communications becoming a natural part of today´s digital lifestyle, webcams are becoming a must-have for PC users.
Video instant messaging has been particularly popular among MSN Messenger users, who have participated in nearly 2.3 billion video sessions, as of December 2004. Meanwhile, worldwide sales of PC cameras have grown from 2.9 million units in 1999 to 18 million units in 2004, an average growth of 44 percent per year, according to IDC.
Logitech first took leadership in the then-small webcam market in 1998 when the company acquired the hardware division of Connectix and its QuickCam® brand name. Logitech has since won numerous industry awards for its innovative webcam technology and recognizable designs. The company was the first to introduce a color PC digital video camera and the first to make a PC camera with an integrated microphone. By working closely with industry partners to develop applications and services, such as video instant messaging and video calling, Logitech has helped establish what IDC predicts will be a $1.2 billion worldwide annual market for webcams in 2005.
“We anticipate a world where a webcam is as integral to the digital experience as a mouse or a keyboard,” said Junien Labrousse, senior vice president of Logitech´s video business unit. “Live video and audio communication isn´t science fiction anymore — it´s easier, more affordable and a better experience than ever before. Logitech has taken big steps toward making personal video communications a viable and widespread activity in the home.”
Faster Internet access has dramatically improved the quality of video transmitted over the Internet. IDC estimates that 124.3 million homes worldwide had broadband Internet access at the end of 2004, up 47 percent from 2003.
Applications for webcams have steadily improved since the days when connecting two parties required entering complicated IP addresses — and hoping that a reliable connection would actually be established. Instant messaging software began to include integrated video in 2001, delighting frustrated webcam owners and creating a boon in webcam usage, and sales. As of December 2004, MSN Messenger welcomed more than 27 million unique webcam viewers with an average of 7 million sessions per day and a single day record of over 10 million webcam sessions.
New applications such as Logitech® VideoCall for broadband take the next step by allowing people to make a high-quality video call with synchronized audio through their PC, via a broadband Internet connection. And like its IM predecessors, Logitech VideoCall makes the process of connecting as simple as clicking on a user name.
“Video IM sets the stage for broadband videoconferencing,” said IDC analyst Chris Chute. “Just as email transformed the way a soldier kept in touch with loved ones at home, video calling over a broadband connection will further revolutionize communications.”
Founded in 1981, Logitech designs, manufactures and markets personal peripherals that enable people to effectively work, play, and communicate in the digital world. Logitech International is a Swiss public company traded on the Swiss Stock Exchange (LOGN) and in the U.S. on the Nasdaq National Market System (LOGI). The company has manufacturing facilities in Asia and offices in major cities in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
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