Camera-Phones Voted Best Item of 2003

Samsung Economic Research Institute (SERI) voted camera-phones, the marriage of digital cameras with cellular phones, the top product of 2003.

Lotto, which fueled lottery madness across the nation, was named second best. New electronics, health products, historical TV dramas, books on asset management, foreign cars, subway newspapers, knowledge search engines, and emigration package products were also included in the top 10 hit items.

SERI announced Wednesday that the top 10 items were selected based on the result of an Internet poll and the evaluation of the experts. Camera-phones, 300,000 of which were selling a month at the beginning of the year, topped 1 million sales in October. Last year, about 20,000 digital cameras were sold a month. In October this year, however, 70,000 were sold.

Lee Jung-ho, a researcher at SERI, said that the year 2003 could be characterized as a year of great interest in money and wealth: Lotto, under the motto of ¡°turning your life upside down,¡± became a phenomenon, and books on asset management topped the bestseller lists. The popularity of luxurious foreign cars, such as Toyota¡¯s Lexus, in times of economic troubles is a reflection of a growing gap in wealth inequality. Historical TV dramas such as "Damo" and "Daejanggeum" enjoyed great popularity by giving people a break from reality, and emigration packages to Canada, sold over TV home shopping channels, sold out immediately after it was aired, SERI said.

Following these top 10 hit ¡°items¡± were inline skates, erotic art, Lee Hyo-lee, Gangnam, remodeling, home reconstruction, wine, Lee Seung-yeop, and PDAs, the institute said. (Choi Hong-seop, hschoi@chosun.com)
hschoi@chosun.com / 12¿ù 17, 2003 18:31 KST