LONDON – Almost every smartphone shipped today has an embedded rear camera and one in three smartphones have a front-facing camera, according to the latest report on imaging technology in mobile devices from ABI Research, which provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. The number of media tablets with two cameras is even greater. Purchasers expect to be able to take photos with their devices and the popularity of video calling is driving the integration of front-facing cameras. ABI Research projects one billion cameras were shipped in smartphones and tablets in 2012.
Apart from Nokiaâ€™s PureView 808, the majority of smartphone releases this year have kept camera resolution around 8 megapixel. Instead, mobile OEMs have looked into new features such as autofocus, rapid capture mode, best picture, and better image captures for low light environments.
â€œAdvancements in imaging technology are opening new doors for smartphones and media tablets,â€ says senior analyst Josh Flood. â€œMobile device cameras are becoming more than just a digital camera for taking snapshots of your kids and pet. New services like augmented reality and gesture recognition are now easily conceivable in mobile devices.â€ Furthermore, these new features in imaging technologies are driving new services for mobile device users.
The new study, â€œMore Than a Digital Camera,â€ also projects that 2.7 billion cameras in mobile devices will ship in 2018. Smartphones account for the majority of camera shipments, at 80 percent of the volume. More smartphones are anticipated to include front-facing cameras as video calling becomes more commonplace and the implementation of LTE network infrastructure in countries will further strengthen the demand of smartphones with these front-facing cameras. â€œTwo hundred and thirty million smartphones are projected to be shipped with gesture recognition in 2015,â€ adds Flood.