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The smartphone is the only camera you'll ever need

by Ken Hyers | 7月 21, 2021

Cameras are one of the most important features for consumers when choosing a smartphone to purchase, right up with battery life and not far behind OS choice and price.  Smartphones have nearly completely replaced stand-alone cameras as the tool for consumers to record their lives.  The quality of cameras in a modern smartphone, along with the ability to instantly share images captured by the device, make cameras one of the most used hardware features of a smartphone.

Camera technology has evolved dramatically since the first handsets with rear cameras came on the scene in 2002.  In the two decades since, the amount and quality of megapixels, the number of cameras, the types of lenses, flash technology, algorithms and associated technology have expanded and improved at a rate that should boggle the mind. Today’s consumers hold in their hand a device that would make a professional photographer in years past green with envy.

The race to develop better imaging technology in smartphones has not stopped.  The number and quality of megapixels continues to improve.  Sensing technology, including autofocus, stabilization and recording are finding their way into ever lower-priced smartphones.  Consumers are benefiting from a never-ending competition between smartphone vendors to develop the best smartphone cameras.

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It is fair to ask whether smartphone camera technology has become more advanced than most consumers need. Are five rear cameras in a smartphone enough, or are more needed? How many megapixels are required to take a selfie? But as innovation slows in other areas of smartphone development, the camera remains one area that consumers can relate to and understand and is a crucial differentiator when it comes to purchasing a smartphone.  Smartphone vendors will continue to add more and better imaging technology to smartphones, and consumers are the beneficiaries, even if they barely scratch the surface to make use of all the photographic capabilities that their phones are capable of.

Clients of our Device Technologies service can access the report Global Device Imaging Enablers Forecast: 2007 to 2026 here.

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