It's official: Smartphones are replacing digital point-and-shoot cameras as the primary photo-taking device for an increasing number of people. With smartphone sales rising and camera sales down, it's not a huge shocker, but results from a new study by the Consumer Electronics Association indicate that while the digital point-and-shoot is still the primary image capture device for more consumers, the numbers are dropping, while the number of people who consider the smartphone as their primary photo-taking device is rising.
In a study conducted this past December, "The Changing Landscape of Digital Photography," the CEA discovered that although 55 percent of consumers who shoot digital images consider a point-and-shoot as their primary photo device, that number is down from 69 percent in 2009, while the smartphone percentages have tripled from 6 percent in 2009 to 18 percent. That's even higher than the 11 percent of consumers who consider a digital SLR as their primary photo device, although that percentage is up from 8 percent in 2009.
Though significant improvement in smartphone camera quality over the past few years is an obvious reason that smartphones are increasingly replacing dedicated cameras, a look at what consumers do with their photos after snapping them is also telling: The CEA study indicates that the most common "typical" usage is emailing photos (58 percent), followed by posting to social networks (48 percent), both of which are much easier to do with a smartphone.
I know I often reach for my iPhone 4S over a dedicated camera (even if I have a camera on me) if what I want to do is email or share a photo quickly. What about you?