Why is everyone blaming smartphones?

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samfan
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Why is everyone blaming smartphones?
4 months ago

TL;DR: Why blame the smartphones? I believe that even if smartphones didn't exist, the camera industry would be the same as it is. In decline because of market saturation and unrealistic expectations.

Full version:

Every time there's a mention of declining camera sales, somebody mentions smartphones as a primary factor.

I call bull. Yes, people take way more photos with smartphones than with cameras. Well, people also make way more phone calls with smartphones than with cameras. How does that prove anything?

The largest problem is that digital cameras were in constant, often accelerating growth for a decade and for some reason, manufacturers expected this to go on forever. Well, tough. Everyone has a camera already. Most people simply don't need another one. It's a saturated market.

My anecdotal story. At the end of 2005, I was buying a digicam. In a brick&mortar store, I asked the clerks to show me 2 cameras so I can try them and pick one (Canon A610 and some Panasonic IIRC). It wasn't possible, because the store was FLOODED with people buying cameras for Christmas. The clerks were handling camera boxes like bread in a world of Fallout. If someone hesitated just for a second between red and blue, clerks were almost shouting at them to hurry up. It was crazy.

Just one year later, again before Christmas, the same store was almost empty. People were buying cameras but it was no longer the avalanche the year before. Everyone already had a camera (from the year before, apparently). Yet the smartphone revolution didn't really happen until a few years later.

Same thing happened with DSLRs later. Everyone who wants it already has one. Not many people need more. Right now, MILCs and high-end compacts seem to be the best chance to sell yet another camera to people who need either better than a p&s (or phone) or smaller than a DSLR.

And regarding the phones. Yea, people take pics with phones all the time, but it seems most end up on social sites, buried within statuses and invites. The way I see it, most people take phone photos simply because they have the phone already in hand (see all those Instagrams of food and feet). With cameras it's the opposite - I take the camera in my hand because I want to take a photo or something. Nothing is going to change this mechanics.

Also, I believe ILC manufacturers are stupid for always marketing new cameras instead of lenses. I never saw a TV ad for a lens (I don't watch TV but I searched YouTube). Not even for something like a 50/1.8. Wouldn't it make more sense to market a cheap lens for low-light or some other specific use then to try to sell yet another camera to someone who likely already has a couple?

pavi1
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Re: Why is everyone blaming smartphones?
In reply to samfan, 4 months ago

samfan wrote:

TL;DR: Why blame the smartphones? I believe that even if smartphones didn't exist, the camera industry would be the same as it is. In decline because of market saturation and unrealistic expectations.

Full version:

Every time there's a mention of declining camera sales, somebody mentions smartphones as a primary factor.

I call bull. Yes, people take way more photos with smartphones than with cameras. Well, people also make way more phone calls with smartphones than with cameras. How does that prove anything?

The largest problem is that digital cameras were in constant, often accelerating growth for a decade and for some reason, manufacturers expected this to go on forever. Well, tough. Everyone has a camera already. Most people simply don't need another one. It's a saturated market.

My anecdotal story. At the end of 2005, I was buying a digicam. In a brick&mortar store, I asked the clerks to show me 2 cameras so I can try them and pick one (Canon A610 and some Panasonic IIRC). It wasn't possible, because the store was FLOODED with people buying cameras for Christmas. The clerks were handling camera boxes like bread in a world of Fallout. If someone hesitated just for a second between red and blue, clerks were almost shouting at them to hurry up. It was crazy.

Just one year later, again before Christmas, the same store was almost empty. People were buying cameras but it was no longer the avalanche the year before. Everyone already had a camera (from the year before, apparently). Yet the smartphone revolution didn't really happen until a few years later.

Same thing happened with DSLRs later. Everyone who wants it already has one. Not many people need more. Right now, MILCs and high-end compacts seem to be the best chance to sell yet another camera to people who need either better than a p&s (or phone) or smaller than a DSLR.

And regarding the phones. Yea, people take pics with phones all the time, but it seems most end up on social sites, buried within statuses and invites. The way I see it, most people take phone photos simply because they have the phone already in hand (see all those Instagrams of food and feet). With cameras it's the opposite - I take the camera in my hand because I want to take a photo or something. Nothing is going to change this mechanics.

Also, I believe ILC manufacturers are stupid for always marketing new cameras instead of lenses. I never saw a TV ad for a lens (I don't watch TV but I searched YouTube). Not even for something like a 50/1.8. Wouldn't it make more sense to market a cheap lens for low-light or some other specific use then to try to sell yet another camera to someone who likely already has a couple?

Ignorance.

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salla30
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Re: Why is everyone blaming smartphones?
In reply to samfan, 4 months ago

nice post.

i think you're right to a large extent.

and i think also it would be a great idea to market more the lens side of things. Some thing to "transform" one's humble ILC into something special.

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007peter
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b/c its is the TRUTH. Why buy a $200~$400 camera when cellphone are good enough?
In reply to samfan, 4 months ago

I don't know why you're getting angry about it.  You can denied it all you want, but the cellphone is the main cause of $200 ~ $400 camera death.  There is no way around this FACT.

Smartphone has already killed:

  • IPOD / MP3 Players
  • Camcorder
  • Camera
  • Watches (most people I know stop wearing watches)
  • Portable Alarm clock 
  • Portable Calculator
  • Portable Gaming (psx and gameboy)
  • GPS System

I love cellphones.  I love it because it replaced all the tiny electronics that I used to carried.  I can consolidate them in one device.  I don't blame cellphone; I embrace it.  However, I also have no delusion that the rise of smartphone = death of $200~400 camera.  You can denied it all you want, but that is the fact.

A product dont' disappear from the marketplace unless there is a good substitute.  Everyone need a cellphone, but not everyone need a camera.

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samfan
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Re: b/c its is the TRUTH. Why buy a $200~$400 camera when cellphone are good enough?
In reply to 007peter, 4 months ago

007peter wrote:

Smartphone has already killed:

  • IPOD / MP3 Players
  • Camcorder
  • Watches (most people I know stop wearing watches)
  • Portable Alarm clock
  • Portable Calculator
  • Portable Gaming (psx and gameboy)
  • GPS System

Even if we assume that a smartphone can replace all these items for a person, my point still stands.

If I already had a portable player, watch, GPS, calculator etc., why would you assume I'd buy another one of each if I didn't buy the phone?

I don't think producers or pocket GPS devices expect to sell me a new GPS every year. Watches? People wear one watch for decades, not to mention alarm clocks. BTW these things still sell, despite the smartphone. But they sell in reasonable quantities. Nobody ever expected the sale of GPS devices will grow forever.

People don't buy that many cameras because they already have enough cameras. Some may be in phones, sure. But if the phones weren't here, the existing cameras would - most people wouldn't need to upgrade anyway.

As a sidenote, portable gaming consoles are far from dead, particularly the GameBoy family which keeps being the most popular console in every generation. If a new GB is a reason to upgrade the old one, people buy the new one. If it is not, they don't. Just like with cameras.

One more thing. The usage with cameras has always been - you take the camera if you expect to take photos. That's still true. If you go somewhere and you expect to take photos, you'll take a camera - doesn't matter if it's an ultrazoom or DSLR. The phone is generally different - you take photos because you already have the phone with you. The phone might have replaced only the lowest of the p&s and that only because it's easier to share pics on social sites.

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crashpc
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Re: Why is everyone blaming smartphones?
In reply to samfan, 4 months ago

samfan wrote:

TL;DR: Why blame the smartphones? I believe that even if smartphones didn't exist, the camera industry would be the same as it is. In decline because of market saturation and unrealistic expectations.

Full version:

Every time there's a mention of declining camera sales, somebody mentions smartphones as a primary factor.

I call bull. Yes, people take way more photos with smartphones than with cameras. Well, people also make way more phone calls with smartphones than with cameras. How does that prove anything?

The largest problem is that digital cameras were in constant, often accelerating growth for a decade and for some reason, manufacturers expected this to go on forever. Well, tough. Everyone has a camera already. Most people simply don't need another one. It's a saturated market.

My anecdotal story. At the end of 2005, I was buying a digicam. In a brick&mortar store, I asked the clerks to show me 2 cameras so I can try them and pick one (Canon A610 and some Panasonic IIRC). It wasn't possible, because the store was FLOODED with people buying cameras for Christmas. The clerks were handling camera boxes like bread in a world of Fallout. If someone hesitated just for a second between red and blue, clerks were almost shouting at them to hurry up. It was crazy.

Just one year later, again before Christmas, the same store was almost empty. People were buying cameras but it was no longer the avalanche the year before. Everyone already had a camera (from the year before, apparently). Yet the smartphone revolution didn't really happen until a few years later.

Same thing happened with DSLRs later. Everyone who wants it already has one. Not many people need more. Right now, MILCs and high-end compacts seem to be the best chance to sell yet another camera to people who need either better than a p&s (or phone) or smaller than a DSLR.

And regarding the phones. Yea, people take pics with phones all the time, but it seems most end up on social sites, buried within statuses and invites. The way I see it, most people take phone photos simply because they have the phone already in hand (see all those Instagrams of food and feet). With cameras it's the opposite - I take the camera in my hand because I want to take a photo or something. Nothing is going to change this mechanics.

Also, I believe ILC manufacturers are stupid for always marketing new cameras instead of lenses. I never saw a TV ad for a lens (I don't watch TV but I searched YouTube). Not even for something like a 50/1.8. Wouldn't it make more sense to market a cheap lens for low-light or some other specific use then to try to sell yet another camera to someone who likely already has a couple?

Very nice! But how about solution? Bunch of people from Fuji, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus will be fired? Aren´t we really going downhill with technical evolution curve now?

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007peter
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Portable Gaming Console
In reply to samfan, 4 months ago

samfan wrote:

007peter wrote:

Smartphone has already killed:

  • IPOD / MP3 Players
  • Camcorder
  • Watches (most people I know stop wearing watches)
  • Portable Alarm clock
  • Portable Calculator
  • Portable Gaming (psx and gameboy)
  • GPS System.

As a sidenote, portable gaming consoles are far from dead, particularly the GameBoy family which keeps being the most popular console in every generation. If a new GB is a reason to upgrade the old one, people buy the new one. If it is not, they don't. Just like with camera

Perhaps you should read:

Is this the End of Portable Gaming Consoles?

A Sobering Look at Mobile’s Impact on Console and Handheld Gaming

Is Handheld Gaming Doomed?

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stevie wonder
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Re: Why is everyone blaming smartphones?
In reply to samfan, 4 months ago

Right on the button man.

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samfan
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Re: Portable Gaming Console
In reply to 007peter, 4 months ago

007peter wrote:

Perhaps you should read:

Most of these articles post some feelings and numbers without real correlation. Apple sold X times as many phones than Nintendo sold consoles. What does it prove?

Nintendo DS sold 154 millions units in 9 years. 3DS sold 35 millions in 2 years. PSP sold 80 million units in 9 years, Vita 4 millions in 2 years. Yes, there's some decline there. However, Sony also sold much fewer PS3s than PS2s and Nintendo is selling much fewer WiiUs than Wiis. So, is the smartphone also replacing home consoles, or is it simply that people don't buy the latest tech because they already have an old console which works just fine?

It's the same with cameras - those who only want to play Angry birds or make snapshots at 35mm focal length are fine with the phone. No denying that.

Everyone else who has at least slightly higher requirements will want a stand-alone console or camera. I think there's no denying that either. But many already do and don't feel the need for an upgrade.

If you know of a market research where the respondents clearly say 'Yes I would indeed buy another camera but I use the smartphone instead', please post link. Usually all I'm seeing are just anecdotes of people taking photos with their iPhones, this being presented as a fact that phones are killing cameras. But no real proof of correlation. Would those billions of phone snapshots be taken at all if not for the phone? I don't think so.

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samfan
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Re: Why is everyone blaming smartphones?
In reply to crashpc, 4 months ago

crashpc wrote:

Very nice! But how about solution? Bunch of people from Fuji, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus will be fired? Aren´t we really going downhill with technical evolution curve now?

I'm not sure about the solution. Essentially what I believe is the case for the camera industry (unrealistic expectations of ever accelerating growth forever and ever) is also a problem for the whole planet and for everything from camera sales through investments to the issue of natural resources.

But as far as cameras go, a 'solution' would probably be a disruptive force - just like SLRs disrupted rangefinders and digital disrupted film. MILC may be another case where everyone will want to replace their existing cameras but I think what we need is again something revolutionary. What it's gonna be, I have no idea. Maybe some future Lytro 4.0. Maybe it's gonna be an accessory turning a phone into a really decent camera (unlike today). No idea really.

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sportyaccordy
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Re: b/c its is the TRUTH. Why buy a $200~$400 camera when cellphone are good enough?
In reply to 007peter, 4 months ago

007peter wrote:

I don't know why you're getting angry about it. You can denied it all you want, but the cellphone is the main cause of $200 ~ $400 camera death. There is no way around this FACT.

Smartphone has already killed:

  • IPOD / MP3 Players
  • Camcorder
  • Camera
  • Watches (most people I know stop wearing watches)
  • Portable Alarm clock
  • Portable Calculator
  • Portable Gaming (psx and gameboy)
  • GPS System

I love cellphones. I love it because it replaced all the tiny electronics that I used to carried. I can consolidate them in one device. I don't blame cellphone; I embrace it. However, I also have no delusion that the rise of smartphone = death of $200~400 camera. You can denied it all you want, but that is the fact.

A product dont' disappear from the marketplace unless there is a good substitute. Everyone need a cellphone, but not everyone need a camera.

You can't get a DSLR body and lens for $200. Smartphones killed the ~$150 point and shoot but definitely not the DSLR.

The DSLR isn't really "dead". KEH makes decent money buying and selling used ones and folks everywhere have them. I have said it before but the problem for camera manfuacturers is that pretty much everyone who wants a low end DSLR has one. The only folks really looking to upgrade are FF buyers, and those updates happen every 3-5 years.

Camera manufacturers have to switch it up. If low end camera sales are being eaten by phones, it's time to start making Coolpix and Powershot phones. It makes a lot of sense.

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sportyaccordy
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Re: Why is everyone blaming smartphones?
In reply to samfan, 4 months ago

samfan wrote:

crashpc wrote:

Very nice! But how about solution? Bunch of people from Fuji, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus will be fired? Aren´t we really going downhill with technical evolution curve now?

I'm not sure about the solution. Essentially what I believe is the case for the camera industry (unrealistic expectations of ever accelerating growth forever and ever) is also a problem for the whole planet and for everything from camera sales through investments to the issue of natural resources.

But as far as cameras go, a 'solution' would probably be a disruptive force - just like SLRs disrupted rangefinders and digital disrupted film. MILC may be another case where everyone will want to replace their existing cameras but I think what we need is again something revolutionary. What it's gonna be, I have no idea. Maybe some future Lytro 4.0. Maybe it's gonna be an accessory turning a phone into a really decent camera (unlike today). No idea really.

The revolution was the change from film to digital. Since then it's just been slow evolution. I think the key for survival is for camera manufacturers to claw back some of the low end volume they lost by throwing their hats in the smartphone ring. A smartphone will never be a "real" camera, but I think a lot of folks here would jump on a camera phone with a 1" sensor and a fast (~f/1.8) wide angle that could legitimately fit into a pocket and had some level of manual control when needed. There seems to be a really big gap between camera phones and cameras.

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007peter
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@sportyaccordy: that is why I said $200~$400 camera
In reply to sportyaccordy, 4 months ago

sportyaccordy wrote:

007peter wrote:

I don't know why you're getting angry about it. You can denied it all you want, but the cellphone is the main cause of $200 ~ $400 camera death. There is no way around this FACT.

Smartphone has already killed:

  • IPOD / MP3 Players
  • Camcorder
  • Camera
  • Watches (most people I know stop wearing watches)
  • Portable Alarm clock
  • Portable Calculator
  • Portable Gaming (psx and gameboy)
  • GPS System

You can't get a DSLR body and lens for $200. Smartphones killed the ~$150 point and shoot but definitely not the DSLR.

That is why I qualify by saying: $200 ~ $400 camera death.  I never said anything about DSLR dying.  You're projecting and putting words in my mouth.

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sshoihet
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Re: Why is everyone blaming smartphones?
In reply to crashpc, 4 months ago

crashpc wrote:

Very nice! But how about solution? Bunch of people from Fuji, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus will be fired? Aren´t we really going downhill with technical evolution curve now?

I have two DSLRs, a mirrorless and a P&S, I also have 2 laptops, a desktop, a tablet and a smartphone; all bought within the last few years.  What kind of advances do you think they're going to make which will cause me to HAVE to buy a new product?

The problem (from the manufacturer's pov) is that most of what we have now is too good... anyone who has bought a camera, computer, phone, etc. within the last few years does not need to replace it with next years new model because what they have is good enough and that's not likely to change soon.

TVs have struggled with the same problem; once you have a 50" or 60" plasma, most people are not going to run out and replace it just because something new came out.  720p is good enough for most people, they're not going to buy something new just to get 1080p, 4K, WIFI etc. 3D has failed miserably.  I have a nice 27" monitor, do you think I'm just going to replace it with 4K when there's nothing wrong with the one I have and it's more than capable of performing the tasks that I require?

Smart phones will start to see the same declines soon because most people have one now and there's not much more that you can add that people will "need". Most carriers are cutting back on how much and how often they subsidize new phones and not as many people are going to buy a new phone when it costs them $400-$900.

I don't see a solution coming any time soon... you need a problem to find a solution and most people are happy with what they have now; their problems are mostly solved.

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samfan
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Re: b/c its is the TRUTH. Why buy a $200~$400 camera when cellphone are good enough?
In reply to sportyaccordy, 4 months ago

sportyaccordy wrote:

The revolution was the change from film to digital. Since then it's just been slow evolution.

Exactly. Which is why I think it's completely natural to expect a strong decline in sales after the revolution is complete - smartphones or not.

By the way... I've had a smartphone since 2003 and I've took pictures with it long before I had a proper digital camera.

A smartphone will never be a "real" camera, but I think a lot of folks here would jump on a camera phone with a 1" sensor and a fast (~f/1.8) wide angle that could legitimately fit into a pocket and had some level of manual control when needed. There seems to be a really big gap between camera phones and cameras.

Camera manufacturers have to switch it up. If low end camera sales are being eaten by phones, it's time to start making Coolpix and Powershot phones. It makes a lot of sense.

I'm not really sure about that. First, if someone is taking pics only with a phone, I'd say they have to have really, really rock-bottom low requirements. Not just in terms of IQ, but battery life, responsiveness and controls. I think that anyone who'd appreciate a decent sensor in a phone would also be more demanding of these other aspects, not to mention such a device would also need to provide good enough IQ, which means a better lens, more weight, higher cost...

Next, nobody has figured out what the perfect smartphone is yet. First it was a Palm Pilot or a Nokia Communicator, then a Nokia Symbian phone, then a BlackBerry, then an iPhone, now it's a phablet aparently. A year from now it can be something else. The market for smartphones is brutal, almost nobody makes a profit and since even Nokia barely survived this avalanche, we can't really expect newcomers from a completely different industry to just come over, figure it out and make a profit. Nikon made an Android camera recently and failed miserably. Samsung is faring only slightly better and they make both decent cameras and decent phones. Can't seem to make a device that does both though.

Which only proves in my mind that phones and cameras aren't in competition.

BTW one reason why phones are 'good enough' is because cheap cameras got crappier. Overmegapixelized tiny smudge makers behing plastic lenses barely faster than a pinhole. I swear I got better snapshots from a 70 €, 2 MPx fixed-focus crappycam in 2000 than some of the p&s today. No wonder the bar is so low.

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007peter
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@Samfan: I get your point, but I think you're underestimate cellphone popularity
In reply to samfan, 4 months ago

samfan wrote:

Nintendo DS sold 154 millions units in 9 years. 3DS sold 35 millions in 2 years. PSP sold 80 million units in 9 years, Vita 4 millions in 2 years. Yes, there's some decline there. However, Sony also sold much fewer PS3s than PS2s and Nintendo is selling much fewer WiiUs than Wiis. So, is the smartphone also replacing home consoles, or is it simply that people don't buy the latest tech because they already have an old console which works just fine?

It's the same with cameras - those who only want to play Angry birds or make snapshots at 35mm focal length are fine with the phone. No denying that.

Everyone else who has at least slightly higher requirements will want a stand-alone console or camera. I think there's no denying that either. But many already do and don't feel the need for an upgrade.

I"m not denying that market saturation is one of the cause to camera decline.  But again, I also think you're underestimating the popularity & influence of cellphones.

Keep in mind majority of population are not into photography, nor are they willing to spend above $500 for a fancy single-purpose-electronic called DSLR.  They buy $200 ~ $400 point/shoots, and now that market is being eaten up by cellphones alive.  It is these Majority that cause the camera market share decline, and to a lesser degree, the entry-level-dSLR are affected.

You're obviously an enthusiast, so for you, SATURATION may seem more like a valid reason for camera decline.  But to majority of the population, the decline is due to cellphones.

We can agree to be disagree

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T3
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cell phone really is good enough. Or even better (for most people).
In reply to samfan, 4 months ago

samfan wrote:

007peter wrote:

Smartphone has already killed:

  • IPOD / MP3 Players
  • Camcorder
  • Watches (most people I know stop wearing watches)
  • Portable Alarm clock
  • Portable Calculator
  • Portable Gaming (psx and gameboy)
  • GPS System

Even if we assume that a smartphone can replace all these items for a person, my point still stands.

If I already had a portable player, watch, GPS, calculator etc., why would you assume I'd buy another one of each if I didn't buy the phone?

I don't think producers or pocket GPS devices expect to sell me a new GPS every year. Watches? People wear one watch for decades, not to mention alarm clocks. BTW these things still sell, despite the smartphone. But they sell in reasonable quantities. Nobody ever expected the sale of GPS devices will grow forever.

People don't buy that many cameras because they already have enough cameras. Some may be in phones, sure. But if the phones weren't here, the existing cameras would - most people wouldn't need to upgrade anyway.

You're wrong because people did buy many cameras even if they already had cameras. Cameras were a popular Christmas or birthday gift, especially to replace older cameras with outdated sensors, or outdated featuresets, or that had simply stopped working! Now, hardly anyone is giving cameras as gifts anymore. And it's because everyone has a smartphone.  Unlike a watch, or a GPS, or a calculator, or an alarm clock, many people did not use a camera for decades.

People would buy a new camera every couple of years.  I have a whole drawer full of cameras.  My dad does too.  My sister does too.  My brother does too.  Heck, everyone I know has a drawer full of old cameras!  That's because we were regularly updating our cameras every couple of years.  Now, no more.  For point-n-shoot photography, I'd rather just use my phone.

Earlier this year, I bought a Canon S110.  I thought it would make a great P&S upgrade since it had built-in Wifi so I could link it to my phone or tablet for easy uploading to the web.  Well, I was wrong, because using the Wifi was a pain in the butt.  I consider myself to be a very technical-oriented person, but even I considered it to be too much of a complicated hassle to bother with.  I went back to just using my smartphone, where I could easily take a photo, edit it, crop it, GPS tag it (automatic), upload it or send it anywhere I want.  The best thin the S110 could do was connect to Wifi-- barely, and with great hassle.

My experience with the S110 showed me that, for most people, a good smartphone camera really is better.  You always have it with you, it's super easy to use, the screen is larger, you can edit the photos on the phone, GPS is built-in, you can send it or upload it with a touch of a button with no hassle.  Everything is made super easy on a smart phone.  With the S110, as a camera it was fine, but as a connected device it was far inferior to a smart phone.  And it wasn't as easy to use as a smart phone.  As an experienced photographer, I obviously had no problem using the S110, but for many consumers, a lot of the features and buttons on a camera are like reading Greek.

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Calexico78
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Re: cell phone really is good enough. Or even better (for most people).
In reply to T3, 4 months ago

T3 wrote:

samfan wrote:

007peter wrote:

Smartphone has already killed:

  • IPOD / MP3 Players
  • Camcorder
  • Watches (most people I know stop wearing watches)
  • Portable Alarm clock
  • Portable Calculator
  • Portable Gaming (psx and gameboy)
  • GPS System

Even if we assume that a smartphone can replace all these items for a person, my point still stands.

If I already had a portable player, watch, GPS, calculator etc., why would you assume I'd buy another one of each if I didn't buy the phone?

I don't think producers or pocket GPS devices expect to sell me a new GPS every year. Watches? People wear one watch for decades, not to mention alarm clocks. BTW these things still sell, despite the smartphone. But they sell in reasonable quantities. Nobody ever expected the sale of GPS devices will grow forever.

People don't buy that many cameras because they already have enough cameras. Some may be in phones, sure. But if the phones weren't here, the existing cameras would - most people wouldn't need to upgrade anyway.

You're wrong because people did buy many cameras even if they already had cameras. Cameras were a popular Christmas or birthday gift, especially to replace older cameras with outdated sensors, or outdated featuresets, or that had simply stopped working! Now, hardly anyone is giving cameras as gifts anymore. And it's because everyone has a smartphone. Unlike a watch, or a GPS, or a calculator, or an alarm clock, many people did not use a camera for decades.

People would buy a new camera every couple of years. I have a whole drawer full of cameras. My dad does too. My sister does too. My brother does too. Heck, everyone I know has a drawer full of old cameras! That's because we were regularly updating our cameras every couple of years. Now, no more. For point-n-shoot photography, I'd rather just use my phone.

Earlier this year, I bought a Canon S110. I thought it would make a great P&S upgrade since it had built-in Wifi so I could link it to my phone or tablet for easy uploading to the web. Well, I was wrong, because using the Wifi was a pain in the butt. I consider myself to be a very technical-oriented person, but even I considered it to be too much of a complicated hassle to bother with. I went back to just using my smartphone, where I could easily take a photo, edit it, crop it, GPS tag it (automatic), upload it or send it anywhere I want. The best thin the S110 could do was connect to Wifi-- barely, and with great hassle.

My experience with the S110 showed me that, for most people, a good smartphone camera really is better. You always have it with you, it's super easy to use, the screen is larger, you can edit the photos on the phone, GPS is built-in, you can send it or upload it with a touch of a button with no hassle. Everything is made super easy on a smart phone. With the S110, as a camera it was fine, but as a connected device it was far inferior to a smart phone. And it wasn't as easy to use as a smart phone. As an experienced photographer, I obviously had no problem using the S110, but for many consumers, a lot of the features and buttons on a camera are like reading Greek.

Completely agree with your assesment!

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T3
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Re: Portable Gaming Console
In reply to samfan, 4 months ago

samfan wrote:

007peter wrote:

Perhaps you should read:

Most of these articles post some feelings and numbers without real correlation. Apple sold X times as many phones than Nintendo sold consoles. What does it prove?

Nintendo DS sold 154 millions units in 9 years. 3DS sold 35 millions in 2 years. PSP sold 80 million units in 9 years, Vita 4 millions in 2 years. Yes, there's some decline there. However, Sony also sold much fewer PS3s than PS2s and Nintendo is selling much fewer WiiUs than Wiis. So, is the smartphone also replacing home consoles, or is it simply that people don't buy the latest tech because they already have an old console which works just fine?

It's the same with cameras - those who only want to play Angry birds or make snapshots at 35mm focal length are fine with the phone. No denying that.

Everyone else who has at least slightly higher requirements will want a stand-alone console or camera. I think there's no denying that either. But many already do and don't feel the need for an upgrade.

If you know of a market research where the respondents clearly say 'Yes I would indeed buy another camera but I use the smartphone instead', please post link. Usually all I'm seeing are just anecdotes of people taking photos with their iPhones, this being presented as a fact that phones are killing cameras. But no real proof of correlation. Would those billions of phone snapshots be taken at all if not for the phone? I don't think so.

First of all, the sales data and statistics clearly do show that camera sales are down, while smart phone sales are up.  Secondly, you can clearly see that more people are using smart phones to shoot photos these days than with cameras.  And I'm sure there are plenty of other data points to support the conclusion that camera sales are being hurt but cell phone cameras.  You really do have to be a bit of a buffoon, or have your head in the sand, to not see the writing on the wall.  Besides, these conclusions are coming from a lot of industry analysts and specialists.  You're just some internet armchair quarterback who is simply choosing to ignore the evidence.

Here's a personal anecdote for you.  My mom just got her first smartphone, an iPhone 5S.  She used to carry around a P&S camera (a camera that I would update every couple of years, as newer, better, lighter, sleeker models were introduced-- as regular birthday or Christmas gifts).  She recently removed her P&S camera from her purse.  She decided she doesn't need it anymore.  The excellent camera in the iPhone 5S has officially replaced her P&S camera.  And needless to say, I will probably never be buying her another P&S camera again!  I'm pretty sure this anecdote has been repeated a million times throughout the world.

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fcimbar
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Re: Why is everyone blaming smartphones?
In reply to samfan, 4 months ago

If cameramakers started to blame smartphones for their declining sales, then smartphones started to take better pictures.

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