Analyzing this trend is very important as the ‘camera megapixel race’ is kickstarting in sub-premium segments, whereas premium segments have moved on. The premium segments are now competing by integrating multiple camera sensors.
- One interesting trend which is being seen is 16MP+ sensors are being adopted faster in $300-$500 price bands (55% of the total sales volumes). This is mainly driven by Chinese brands’ flagships and Samsung’s high-tier portfolio. In the premium $500+ segment, key brands such as Huawei, Samsung, Apple are actually incorporating 12MP/13MP sensors and focusing more on other aspects such as wide angle improvements, laser assisted autofocus, dual cameras, OIS, as well as simply thinning the overall camera stack. Almost 90% of the smartphone sales volumes in premium segment sport a 12MP or higher camera.
- In high volume, lower price bands ($100-$300), basic but higher resolution 13MP+ is becoming a go-to camera resolution to invigorate sales and position the models on par with flagships. Three in Four smartphones sold in this high growth $100-$300 segment sports a 13MP or higher camera.
- In the lower-tier sub $100 segment, 8MP+ sensors are beginning to proliferate especially in $50-$100 band driven by local brands in Asia and lower cost SKUs from Chinese brands.