The emergence of a new breed of low-cost, "back-to-basics pocket" is appealing to a fresh base of consumers, says Futuresource Consulting, a specialist research company.

"With the death knell sounding for traditional tape-driven camcorders and DVD giving way to HDD and Flash-based devices, it's the pocket video camera segment - the PVC - that’s really leading the charge here", says David Watkins, a senior analyst at Futuresource.

"Accounting for just 5% of total US, Japan and Western Europe camcorder shipments in 2006, we expect this to swell to 40% by 2010, equating to more than 7 million units shipped across the three regions next year".

Web 2.0 sites with video upload capability are seen as one major driver for this new market.

"These devices appeal to a broad cross-section of the population. Sports enthusiasts and extreme sports participants, young parents, teenagers, bloggers, vloggers and online social networkers are just some of the groups blazing the trail. With embedded or removable flash memory and a stripped-down feature set, PVCs are small enough to qualify as highly portable everyday devices", says Watkins.