Despite the global component crisis and supply constraints, the CMOS image sensor (CIS) or smartphone camera growth is expected to be double-digit to nearly 6 billion units in 2021, according to a new report.

Smartphone imaging systems will continue to benefit from significant hardware upgrades this year, with CIS content per smartphone rising to 4.1 on average, according to Counterpoint Research.

“The triple and top main camera configurations, which accounted for two-thirds of all smartphones sold in the first half of the year, were a big factor,” said Tarun Pathak, director of smartphone research at Counterpoint.

“What’s really interesting is where a lot of this growth is coming from – Africa, Latin America, India and other emerging markets,” he said in a statement.

High resolution has also been an area of ​​interest, with 48MP-plus becoming the standard in the smartphone industry.

“Again, we see emerging markets leading the growth; and 64MP is also starting to become a major segment. High resolution is very important at the most contested price range in the world – the wholesale category of $ 100 to $ 399, ”Pathak noted.

In the second quarter, two-thirds of the devices were high-resolution and we expect further share increases for the full year, according to the report.

Ultimately, it’s not about the camera or how many megapixels or how powerful your processor is.

“It’s a combination of things: how good is the integration? The AI algorithms? Is the setting appropriately matched to the market? It’s the sum of the pieces that delivers the experience, ”said Neil Shah, Vice President of Research at Counterpoint.

“OEMs understand that, but it’s hard to do it. It is as much art as it is science, ”added Shah.

Features that were once only available on ultra-premium devices are now popping up in larger OEM portfolios, from pop-up shooting, optical zoom, and ultra-high resolution to time-consuming capabilities. flight and macro.

“The increase in choice and complexity is why algorithm development has become such a critical factor in the success of camera systems,” said Ethan Qi, Senior Camera Components Analyst at Counterpoint.

According to Pathak, as we move through post-Covid upgrade cycles, especially in Android heavy markets, we are seeing OEMs bringing increasingly sophisticated camera hardware to their customers across all segments. .


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