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07-10-2018, 07:56 PM   #1
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10 Years On: How the iPhone Killed Big Camera

A graphic on the ABC website to mark 10 years since the iPhone 3G.

Chart of the day: How the iPhone killed 'big camera' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

07-10-2018, 08:11 PM - 1 Like   #2
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How many Big Camera cameras were little compact cameras?
07-10-2018, 08:17 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
How many Big Camera cameras were little compact cameras?
Most I expect. But by "Big Camera", I think the title refers to big camera business, not big cameras per se.
07-10-2018, 08:27 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
Most I expect. But by "Big Camera", I think the title refers to big camera business, not big cameras per se.
Yes, Big Camera here and in the article refers to the traditional camera industry. What isn’t said is how quickly compact digital cameras replaced compact automatic film cameras in the decade prior to 2008, and how quickly compact automatic film cameras were taken up by consumers in the decade before 1998. Taken in that context the iPhone paradigm shift is remarkable in that Apple captured all that cash flow and destroyed the capital of an entire industry, whereas the prior replacements were neither capital nor cash flow destructive.

07-10-2018, 08:52 PM   #5
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Remember when we had to buy a Garmin or Tom-Tom for a GPS in our cars? The smartphones also killed the separate auto GPS market. We love cameras with knobs and dials and stuff that allows us to be freaking thrilled with a perfect photo, but the average consumer simply wants convenience and a picture that is good enough.
07-10-2018, 08:58 PM   #6
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Stupid article. iPhone has been leading edge in many things, but never in camera. Nokia was the leading brand in camera tachnology in mobile phones that brought them to the level of the compact cameras before they sold their mobile phone business to Microsoft. Also the global marketshare of iOS is less than 20%, so comparing camera sales against iPhone sales dosen't make sence. There were already plenty of camera phones on the market when the first iPhone was released and still today most of the phones are made by other brands.
07-10-2018, 09:10 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by iheiramo Quote
Stupid article. iPhone has been leading edge in many things, but never in camera. Nokia was the leading brand in camera tachnology in mobile phones that brought them to the level of the compact cameras before they sold their mobile phone business to Microsoft. Also the global marketshare of iOS is less than 20%, so comparing camera sales against iPhone sales dosen't make sence. There were already plenty of camera phones on the market when the first iPhone was released and still today most of the phones are made by other brands.
Let’s not let detail get in the way of the full story, though. Nobody except the most unaware would suggest that the iPhone has ever had the “best” camera (whatever that means, given that phone camera potential IQ depends on sensor, lens and software/firmware), but prior “dumb” and “smart” phones almost all had inferior cameras (and I had several including Nokias before settling on the iPhone, years ago). Without the debut of the iPhone, all of this may have happened anyway, but probably over a longer period of time.

Whatever Apple detractors might say, it was the iPhone that captured the collective imagination and led to a host of imitators. The combined effect of all that phone camera usage led to the discarding of many dedicated cameras, so I agree that Apple phones didn’t do it on their own, but they were the rock that led to the avalanche.
07-10-2018, 09:50 PM   #8
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Oh yes,i remember that 2mp iPhone 3...i replaced it with the 3S and got 3mp...a monumental increase in resolution!

I suppose ive had 5-6 phones over the 10 years...but ive probably bought 30 camera bodies(not all new and not all digital).

Wheres that trend?

07-10-2018, 10:01 PM   #9
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I remember everybody going on about their iphone with a 5 megapickle camera and how amozing it was, meanwhile my Nokia was 12megapickles.

But yes, the smartphone has certainly changed the landscape, with more people taking photos, and by more I mean , everybody.
When I was 17-21yrs old (start of the 80's), maybe 1 in 10 of my friends had even a point and shoot, most people would buy a disposable for holiday/party snaps,and everybody would be running around saying, "who's got a camera, get a shot of the cake....."
I had a slr, and only two other of my freinds had slr's, in about 200 odd people.

It's a different would, I think the "iphone" is just way of saying smartphone.
07-10-2018, 10:53 PM   #10
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- The curves are in volume, not in $
- Current camera volume is back to the volumes sold in 1985-1990, not a big surprise, the large volumes on y2000+ were sold to the casual snapshooter obviously content with phone image quality
- Even the best camera phone model of 2018 deliver good enough image quality for internet posting and even print 10 inch wide, however, for large display or printing poster image quality is insufficient

How about the trend of increasing of sales volume of full frame digital cameras, and relative to other camera formats? I don't have number, but from what I can see, if we include Sony A7 series, Pentax K1, Leica SL, D750, D810,D850, 5DIV, I would bet they dominate all formats in $. Maybe not a random choice from Ricoh to enter the full frame segment in the last 2 years.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 07-10-2018 at 11:05 PM.
07-10-2018, 10:59 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Yes, Big Camera here and in the article refers to the traditional camera industry. What isn’t said is how quickly compact digital cameras replaced compact automatic film cameras in the decade prior to 2008, and how quickly compact automatic film cameras were taken up by consumers in the decade before 1998. Taken in that context the iPhone paradigm shift is remarkable in that Apple captured all that cash flow and destroyed the capital of an entire industry, whereas the prior replacements were neither capital nor cash flow destructive.
Digital imaging killed an entire industry as well. As digital took hold, and people started using screens for picture viewing, they stopped making prints. This led to the wholesale demise of the photofinishing industry. This had a ripple effect of aiding in the killing of camera stores, which were dependant on the revenue stream from photofinishing to stay alive.
07-10-2018, 11:16 PM   #12
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There are several threads on this same topic on Pentaxforums in the past, they probably have some of the additional details that people are asking about.
07-11-2018, 03:16 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by quant2325 Quote
Remember when we had to buy a Garmin or Tom-Tom for a GPS in our cars? The smartphones also killed the separate auto GPS market. We love cameras with knobs and dials and stuff that allows us to be freaking thrilled with a perfect photo, but the average consumer simply wants convenience and a picture that is good enough.
Indeed!

And remember when people had to buy a Sony Walkman for portable music?

And remember when people had to buy a pager to get instant messages?

And remember when people had to buy wrist watches to know what time it was?

The mobile phone and then the smartphone really killed a lot of devices.
07-11-2018, 04:13 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Digital imaging killed an entire industry as well. As digital took hold, and people started using screens for picture viewing, they stopped making prints. This led to the wholesale demise of the photofinishing industry. This had a ripple effect of aiding in the killing of camera stores, which were dependant on the revenue stream from photofinishing to stay alive.
Absolutely correct and important to an understanding. That transformation, similar to but less elegant than the iPhone, required an in-place home PC to do anything useful with the files. The remarkable thing about the iPhone is self-containment.
07-11-2018, 04:26 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Digital imaging killed an entire industry as well. As digital took hold, and people started using screens for picture viewing, they stopped making prints. This led to the wholesale demise of the photofinishing industry. This had a ripple effect of aiding in the killing of camera stores, which were dependant on the revenue stream from photofinishing to stay alive.
Quite true.

And digital music killed record stores.

And digital video killed video rental stores.
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