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Mobile Phone Camera Module Shipments Forecast to Reach 4.92B in 2022

In the past few years, the largest trend for smartphone camera modules may be the increasing quantity of rear camera modules, based on TrendForce. Triple camera modules surpassed dual camera modules being mainstream in 2022 and drove the continued development of smartphone camera module shipments. In 2022, annual smartphone camera module shipments are required to reach 4.92 billion units, reflecting a 2% growth year-on-year (YoY).

The trend towards multiple cameras began to shift in 2H21 over time of positive growth. The previous spike within the penetration rate of 4 camera modules was primarily incited by mid-range smart phone models in 2H20 when cell phone brands sought to market their products through promoting more and more cameras. However, as consumers realized that the macro and depth camera usually featured on the second and third cameras were utilised less often and improvements in overall photo quality limited, the interest in four camera modules gradually subsided and cell phone brands returned to fulfilling the actual needs of shoppers.

In addition, increases within the pricing of semiconductor chips for example power management ICs (PMICs) and driver ICs, as well as increased shipping costs, have driven the price of cell phones up sharply. Without the capability to effectively pass this cost onto consumers, any remaining allowance to economically install low-end cameras continues to be effectively eliminated.

Camera resolution upgrades

Although camera shipment growth has slowed, camera resolution is constantly on the improve. Taking primary cameras for example, the current mainstream design is 13-48 million pixels, comprising more than 50% of cameras in 2022. In second place are products featuring 49-64 million pixels, which taken into account more than 20% of cameras last year with penetration rate likely to increase to 23% in 2022. The 3rd highest portion is 12 million pixel products, currently covered with the iPhone and Samsung’s flagship series. However, a 48 million pixel primary camera is expected to become introduced to the iPhone 14 Pro series (tentative name) that Apple will release this year, further reducing 12 million pixel products to a 15% share in 2022.

In addition to the original Samsung and Xiaomi brands employing 108 million pixels cameras, Vivo and Honor also introduced similar resolution cameras in 2022. There is a chance 200 million pixel products is going to be ready for commercial use in 2022, driving the penetration rate of ultra-high pixel products to an expected level in excess of 5% in 2022. However, such ultra-high pixel products primarily focus on enlarging photographs without losing image quality. Therefore, TrendForce believes that any marginal benefits these items bring to consumers will gradually decrease and also the penetration rate won't grow as soon as 49-64 million pixels products.

Overall, TrendForce believes the number of camera modules mounted on smartphones won't be the main focus of cell phone brands, as focus will go back to the actual needs of consumers. Therefore, triple camera modules will stay the mainstream design for the next 2 to 3 years.