Annual smartphone camera module shipments in 2022 are expected to increase at 2 percent to 4.92 billion units, according to TrendForce.
Triple camera modules surpassed dual camera modules to become mainstream in 2020 and drove the continued growth of smartphone camera module shipments.
The trend towards multiple cameras started to shift in 2H21 after a few years of positive growth. The previous spike in the penetration rate of four camera modules was primarily incited by mid-range smart phone models in 2H20 when mobile phone brands sought to market their products through promoting more and more cameras.
As consumers realized that the macro and depth camera featured on the third and fourth cameras were used less frequently and improvements in photo quality limited, the demand for four camera modules gradually subsided and mobile phone brands returned to fulfilling the actual needs of consumers.
Increases in the pricing of semiconductor chips such as PMICs and Driver ICs, as well as hike in shipping costs, have driven the cost of mobile phones up sharply. Without the ability to effectively pass this cost onto consumers, any remaining allowance to economically install low-end cameras has been effectively eliminated.
The current mainstream design 13-48 million pixels is accounting for more than 50 percent of cameras in 2021. Products featuring 49-64 million pixels accounted for more than 20 percent of cameras last year with penetration rate expected to increase to 23 percent in 2022.
The third highest portion is 12 million pixel products, currently dominated by the iPhone and Samsung’s flagship series. A 48 million pixel primary camera is expected to be introduced to the iPhone 14 Pro series (tentative name) that Apple will release this year, reducing 12 million pixel products to a 15 percent share in 2022.
Samsung and Xiaomi brands featured 108 million pixels cameras. Vivo and Honor also introduced similar resolution cameras in 2021. 200 million pixel products will be ready for commercial use in 2022, driving the penetration rate of ultra-high pixel products to an expected level in excess of 5 percent in 2022.
TrendForce believes that the number of camera modules mounted on smartphones will no longer be the main focus of mobile phone brands, as focus will return to the real needs of consumers. Therefore, triple camera modules will remain the mainstream design for the next 2-3 years.