Experts from the TrendForce analytical company studied the trends in the development of smartphones and came to the conclusion that in recent years the most obvious of them is the increase in the number of main camera modules. In 2020, triple-camera modules have surpassed dual-camera modules to become the most common in 2020, leading to a steady increase in the supply of smartphone camera modules, according to the study. 4.92 billion smartphone camera modules are expected to be produced in 2022. This forecast is in line with a 2% year-on-year growth.
Interestingly, in the second half of last year, this growth trend, which had been observed for several years, failed. The surge associated with the release of cameras with four modules turned out to be short-lived and did not take the industry to a new level. As consumers have realized that the macro module and depth-sensing camera module, usually the third and fourth, are used less often and their impact on overall photo quality is limited, the demand for smartphones with quad-camera modules has decreased. Having sensed this, manufacturers returned to meeting the actual needs of the mass consumer – in other words, they focused on the transition from cameras with two modules to cameras with three modules. In addition, the rise in prices for semiconductor chips and the increase in shipping costs have led to an increase in the cost of smartphones. Forecast experts are confident that triple cameras will remain the most mainstream option for the next 2-3 years.
At the same time, the resolution of cameras will continue to grow. For main cameras, the most common now are values in the range of 13-48 megapixels. This segment accounted for 50% of deliveries in 2021. In second place are cameras with a resolution of 49-64 megapixels, occupying more than 20%. This year, their share is expected to increase to 23%. The third place is occupied by cameras with a resolution of 12 megapixels. This segment is dominated by the iPhone and Samsung’s flagship series. The iPhone 14 Pro series is expected to have a 48MP main camera, which will reduce the 12MP camera segment this year by up to 15%.
Analysts also expect smartphones with 200MP cameras to appear this year, but growth in the ultra-high-definition segment will be less than in the 49-64MP segment.