Digital cameras are set to be big sellers this Christmas – leading to a shortage of removable Flash memory, according to analysts.

Samsung's Kevin Jung told Reuters: "Demand has been explosive in the third quarter and the shortage of the chips is expected to last until the first half 2004. We are steadily expanding production of NAND chips, but it looks difficult to meet rising demand for the time being."

Betsy Van Hees, principal analyst at market research firm iSuppli, said: "The NAND shortage is not expected to ease until mid-2004 or even the end of 2004, after STMicroelectronics and Hynix Semiconductor get their initial flash chips into the market."

She predicted that: "The total Flash memory market is forecast to grow 42 per cent in 2003 and 36 per cent next year."

In related news, a shortage of charge coupled device (CCD) is also predicted, with demand for digital stills camers, mobile camera phones and other portable devices said to have caused a dearth of CCDs.