The iPhone Kicked Off a Communications Revolution and along the Way Destroyed the Camera Industry and others
I used to own a Konica FS-1, the world's first SLR with built-in motor drive. I loved it. The photos it took were drop dead gorgeous. It died when I dropped it in the waters surrounding Cancun. I took too long to fix it and the salt water destroyed it. When iPhones started to improve their cameras I bought the iPhone 6 and was stunned by the photos it took in the Rockies. They were as good as any taken on my Konica. I never thought of buying another camera again.
Every next-gen iPhone continues to improve the technology behind its camera. One of the standout features in Apple's new iPhone XS is in fact its camera. Early reviewers seem to agree that, hidden behind terms like Smart HDR and Neural Engine, the XS takes significantly better photos than its predecessors, with results edging ever closer to the quality once reserved to expensive interchangeable lens cameras.
And its not just iPhones of course. Over the past few years, smartphone cameras in general have improved significantly. So much so in fact, that many people no longer see the need to carry or buy a dedicated camera. While professionals and photo enthusiasts will always get better results using high-end cameras and lenses, modern smartphones take pictures that are easily sufficient for the demands of the average consumer.
And, as the chart below from Statista shows us, camera companies have suffered dearly from the advent of the modern smartphone. Standalone consumer cameras hit their peek in 2010 by selling 121 million of them. And as smartphones like the iPhone improved their cameras and features, camera sales began to dive and as you can see, seven years later camera sales have shrunk to 25 million units.
Statista notes in a recent report that "To the camera and photo equipment industry, the rise of smartphone photography has had devastating effects. According to CIPA, a Japan-based industry group with members such as Olympus, Canon and Nikon, worldwide camera shipments dropped nearly 80 percent between 2010 and 2017."
The fact that smartphones like the iPhone not only provided everyday consumers with the power to take photographer class shots but also provided users with the ability to throw out their old video cameras that used VHS tapes. When you think of the cost of a quality camera in 2010 plus the cost of camcorder combined, it's no wonder consumers drove up the sales of smartphones. The smartphone put a bullet in the standalone camera and video cam industries.
Now it's easy for an iPhone user to take a shot in portrait mode and get that cool bokeh effect, control the lighting on a photo after the shot is taken and much more. Now the iPhone's high-end TrueDepth camera can customize Memojis and have them mimic your facial expressions in real-time.
While the iPhone kicked off a communications revolution with the internet in your pocket, it's now taking photography to new heights with Memojis and AR Gaming and more where cameras could have never taken us.
So when some consumers balk at the high price of an iPhone, remember it's not just a phone, it's a fantastic camera, it's fantastic video camera, it's a turn-by-turn device, it's a mobile gaming station, it's an audio recorder, it's a modern day Walkman, it's your electronic wallet and perhaps next year even your mobile TV. In that context, a quality high-end iPhone is more than worth it's price, even if it did run over the camera industry to get here.
About Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Those using abusive language or negative behavior will result in being blacklisted on Disqus.