This article was originally posted on October 30, 2012 by PMA Newsline’s Paul Worthington. Click here to see the original post.

InfoTrends studies end-user photo printing habits

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Connected devices such as smartphones and tablets will play a very important role in the development of the photo print market over the next few years through apps and simplified ordering processes, research firm InfoTrends says — and “consumers still need to understand the value of print to stay in the habit of printing photos, with whatever device photos are taken with.”

InfoTrends’ most recent survey research shows “most consumers are still printing photos.” Nearly 73 percent of participants say that they print photos at least occasionally.

The real change is happening in the devices used to take photos, the company says, as 45 percent of survey respondents say they own a smartphone, which is up from 31 percent in 2011. 30 percent of smartphone owners use the phone most often to take photos, which is up from just 17 percent in 2011. The percent of respondents that own a tablet is also up considerably, from just 6 percent of respondents in 2011 to over 17 percent in 2012.

InfoTrends says it is “encouraging” that more than 20 percent of respondents say they are not printing photos now — but plan to in the future.

InfoTrends recommends retailers and vendors educate consumers on the archival benefits of printing photos as well as promoting redundancy for safeguarding photos. “More consumers need to be made aware of the importance of photo printing, and stakeholders in the photo market need to work together to make sure it is easy to order prints from connected devices, such as smartphones, tablets, or connected cameras” the firm says. Also, vendors must focus on the development of more intuitive photo printing apps to facilitate printing from mobile devices.

InfoTrends’ 2012 U.S. Photo Printing End-User Survey is available here.