2006 was a watershed year for digital photo frames,
according to Dallas-based market research company Parks Associates. Sales of
digital photo frames in the first half of 2006 showed a typical growth curve
and then skyrocketed. During the second half of 2006, led by holiday fourth
quarter business, sales leaped to a record level, with most suppliers reporting
triple-digit unit growth.
Dive deeper into the report and you find some interesting
detail. An owner analysis reveals that two-thirds of electronic photo frame
owners are gift recipients rather than purchasers. That means someone thought
the frame would be a great gift for someone else--but the owner didn’t
necessarily share that view.
You can lump me into the picture. I thought a digital photo
frame would make a great gift for my mom. I could stuff a 1-gigabyte SD card
into the 7-inch Westinghouse frame and Mom could go a whole day without seeing
the same photo twice. Sure enough, when I gave her the frame she was intrigued.
She looked through the photos and commented on each one.
Then the appeal began to fade. Next time I visited, the frame
was turned off. Most recently, the photo frame had joined the stack of
discarded electronics in the basement. My mom had found the power drain, futzing and clutter too much to deal with.
Most of the other products in the discard pile, though, had
enjoyed a much longer run.
back in the late ‘60s and it only recently lost sound. The Panasonic
cassette deck served as the family beach music system for well over a decade.
The Panasonic VCR became dispensable by the arrival of the DVD but
served for many useful years. The Go
Video DVD/VCR was replaced for space savings by a Toshiba combo
The photo frame, though, appears to
have been discarded out of disinterest.
I can’t help but wonder how many of those other unsolicited digital
photo frames will wind up in people's basements.--Rebecca Day
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