Picture Frames, Picture Framing and Picture Framers' Blog

Welcome to our weblog about picture framers, picture frames and picture framing. It is published and maintained with the goal to share information, knowledge, tips, ideas and opinions about this industry. All posts are grouped in the sections listed below. For help with orders, please visit our Store Help and FAQS page, or use our Contact page.

Digital photo frames versus traditional photo frames, who's winning?

The winner seems to be traditional photo frame. It wasn't that long ago, around the year 2000, that digital photo frames first appeared in Australia. We remember still, the collective shiver many Australian picture framers experienced when these first came onto the market. The world was, and still is changing fast. The computer, the internet, the world wide web have and are still .. continuing to, kill off entire industries. Older, established picture framers well remembered advertising behemoths like Yellow Pages to whom we slavishly bowed and paid tribute to every year. So if technological change has wiped out one of of the world's largest advertising businesses, would it do the same to the photo frames or picture framing industry?  Well, information from lots of sources suggest ... that this will not   be the case. On the contrary, digital photo frames sales are losing ground and declining with some saying that these will soon be another legacy gadget in the digital graveyard. An article here reports that worldwide digital photo frame of both sales and shipments have fallen for a third year in a row. And industry analysts point out that since 2011, the number of digital picture frame and photo frame models have decreased by 78%. Why is this so, why are less and customers liking and buying them? This seems to be because of a variety of disparate reasons. Surprisingly, some say that digital photo frames are too visually demanding, overpowering, distracting even. These seem to want your attention, whether you like it or not. These are gadgets to be switched on, loaded and fidgeted with, they're not passive, like an old fashioned photo or picture frame. And if they're not passive, they're active, actively wanting your time and attention, even when you're tired and not ready for them. So what many digital photo frame users do in this situation? They turn them off. One of the largest U.S. digital frames sellers, Pandigital, surveyed its customers a few years back about this very issue. It found that about 41% of users never used them! And worldwide sales data says that after several years of good growth digital photo frame sales are falling. So are there other reasons why so many people aren't using them? One source suggests that many older users are bewildered and confused by their features and functionalities. Often they had to ask for help as to how to port their digital photographs into their digital frames. Another negative factor is the necessary maintenance of their energy needs and requirements. Many models of digital photo frames require AC power and have to be plugged into the electricity mains. A power cord dangling from a wall plug to the digital frame is rarely attractive. And even if these run on DC batteries, these will soon need replacing or replenishing, both cost money. Further, technology talk is that digital photo frames are as good as they're going to get and manufacturers aren't investing further research and development into this mature, if not aging, market. Yet another factor is cost. If you have 3 children and want to display their photos on you wall simultaneously you'll have to buy three disparate digital photo frames. That will be much more expensive than buying three traditional, wooden photo frames. And lastly, if you already own a reader, tablet, Smartphone or iPhone why would you fork out more money to buy something your existing device does well enough already ? Then again, and notwithstanding all the information herein container, the picture framing industry isn't on that great a shape either, see the post What's happened to all the picture framing and picture frames stores?

Comments

My brother in law and his wife gave bought me one as a present two years ago. I unpacked the thing wouldn't work and had to get it replaced. Then I found out it had a ridiculously small drive of 1 MB so all I could load into the digital frame was 2 or 3 photos at most. Rang up the supplier about getting a bigger hard drive, and guess what, they wanted $249, more than what the digital frame cost to begin with. I then started looking in eBay for a cheaper alternative when the blasted thing crashed again. This time it gave my laptop some sort virus which took my PC technician 6 hours to fix. The digital frame supplier were reasonable enough and offered the money for the frame back. So I took the money back and never bothered about getting another digital picture frame again!
Nathaniel P. - 15 Feb 2015 08:21 am
I bought a 10" digital picture frame last year on special from K-Mart for $49. It worked for 3 days then it died. I took it where I got it from and got another one. The replacement lasted 4 months then it wouldn't recharge. This time they sent it away to get it fixed. It recharged Ok but then the software locked me out and I couldn't load new pictures. I took it back once more and after calling the manager to the help desk I got a full refund. My advice? They're crappy products, poorly manufactured and I won't buy another one. I know some say what do you expect for $49? My answer is that $49 isn't cheap anyway and for that money I can probably buy half a dozen wooden traditional picture frames. So for me, I'll stick to old-fashioned picture frames from now one.
Andrea L. - 1 Oct 2014 04:01 pm

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