Do you own a digital camera? More and more people would answer “yes,” and even those who answer “no” are probably wrong. That’s because today almost anyone who owns a mobile handset likely also owns a digital camera as well. And this isn’t something the digital camera makers like to hear, as they are losing market share. According to research firm iSuppli Corp., the low-end digital still camera (DSC) market could be getting snapped by mobile phones.
This is some of the findings of the new report entitled “Will Handset Cameras Rival Low-end Point-and-Shoot Cameras?” Yes, these handsets will rival but don’t expect standalone cameras to go away.
Consider that a decade ago digital cameras were typically far from high resolution, and were pretty expensive devices. Camera phones came in as novelty items, or were advanced features on high-end phones. Now, every handset seems to have a high-resolution digital still (and video) camera, and often with high resolution image sensors and better than expected lenses.
And according to iSuppli, cameras in those phones will just get better too, making these handsets ideal for consumers as well as any business user that needs to occasionally snap a photo or two. The research firm predicts that the CMOS sensors will rise to 5.7 megapixels by 2013, up 171.4 percent from 2.1 megapixels in 2009. That’s quite a jump, but consider that the DSC market will only rise about 46.3 percent from 9.5 megapixels to 13.9 megapixels by 2013. In other words, mobile handsets are closing the gap in resolution with low-end still cameras – and for the record, those “low-end” cameras have surpassed what was considered “high-end” at the beginning of the last decade.
So does this mean that the digital still camera market will collapse? Not even close. As a full-time writer and part-time photographer, this reporter isn’t going to use a BlackBerry to do the job of my Nikon digital SLR camera. And iSuppli concludes the same. While we’re discussing resolution, there are plenty of other factors that come into play, including the lens, auto focus, flash and most importantly, processing electronics. Yes, technology advances all this stuff, but it isn’t as if SLRs are being displaceed by lower-end cameras, so phones can’t replace lower-end cameras either.
In other words, if your business still needs to rely on photography, even the smartest smartphone isn’t going to make a true digital camera obsolete. As I’ve previously stressed, a smartphone (or even feature phone) is great as it can be many things – and while these have made pagers obsolete and could give standalone GPS devices a run for the money – but cameras are going to be like laptops, meaning there will also be devices that are better than your handset for taking photos, just like a laptop will remain the better way to work on documents.
Are Consumers Warming to Mobile Shopping?
If you’re in the business of selling products, don’t let mobile pass you by. That’s the findings of a post-Mobile World Congress report from Retrevo, which looks at trends in the world of mobile shopping.