Smartphone shipments dropped significantly in 2022, but OEMs continued to improve smartphone camera resolutions. This is because smartphone OEMs are still focusing on improving imaging technology.
Advances in chipset processing and software algorithms have allowed OEMs to produce high-quality images using existing cameras, reducing the need for depth and macro cameras.
Apple's iPhone shipments remained strong in 2022, despite the global economic downturn, increasing the market share of 10MP-12MP resolutions. However, the iPhone 14 Pro models, with 48MP cameras, will reduce the share of 10MP-12MP in 2023. The 13MP-32MP resolutions have declined in recent years as higher resolutions have become more accessible through price cuts.
The 40MP-48MP resolutions declined in 2022 as more mid- to low-end models upgraded to 50MP, but this trend is expected to reverse in 2023.
50MP has been a popular choice for smartphone OEMs since its launch in 2020, with large pixel (1.0μm and above) 50MP being preferred for mid to high-end smartphones, and cost-effective sub-0.7μm 50MP being more popular among low- to mid-end models. The sales volume of 50MP is expected to reach over 260 million units in 2022.
The share of 64MP declined as mid- to high-end smartphones upgraded to large pixel 50MP, but the share of 100MP and above resolutions has been growing steadily. Despite its high cost, the 100MP and above resolution is still limited to mid- and high-end segments.