If you thought multi-camera modules on smartphones were nothing but a fad, think again. Two recent reports by analyst firm Counterpoint Research and The Korea Herald tell a different story.

According to the analyst report approximately 42% of all smartphones sold globally in July 2018 featured a dual or triple rear camera. The firm estimates that the adoption of multi-camera modules will grow to 60% by the end of the year and says that "while the megapixel war has almost peaked, multiple sensors in phones is the new battleground."

Graph: Counterpoint

Growth in the multi-cam segment has been fast paced, with penetration increasing from 15% to 42% in the last 12 months, and is highest in the price range from $200 to $599. In the "super-premium" segment ($800+) adoption has reached 100%.

The charge is lead by OnePlus, followed by Huawei and Apple. Google is the only premium manufacturer still betting on single-camera but is under increasing pressure to join the multi-cam movement.

A report by The Korea Herald confirms Counterpoint's view of the market, stating that "Most major smartphone makers, including Samsung Electronics, Apple and LG Electronics, are reportedly preparing to roll out smartphones fitted with three rear-facing camera modules in a bid to step ahead in the premium segment."

According to Samsung around 10% percent of its 2019 smartphones are likely to come with triple-camera technology. Unsurprisingly the performance increase through multiple cameras comes at a cost, though. At a manufacturing level the cost of a typical single-lens module is approximately $10. Dual- and triple-lens camera modules add $30 and $50, respectively, to the bill of material.