Global smartphone CMOS image sensor (CIS) shipments in H1 2022 fell 14% YoY to about 2.4 billion units, according to the latest Counterpoint Smartphone Camera Tracker. This was due to sluggish smartphone shipments and a slowdown in the multi-camera trend during the period.
Commenting on the multi-camera trend, Senior Analyst Ethan Qi said, “The average number of cameras per smartphone dropped to 3.9 units in Q2 2022 from 4.1 units in 2021. For rear cameras, the share of smartphones featuring a triple camera setup has been increasing since Q2 2021 at the expense of the quad and above setup, as major Chinese OEMs remove the depth camera on certain models and use existing cameras in concert with software to generate depth-related data. Additionally, we expect Samsung to remove the depth camera from its Galaxy A series next year as mid-end chipsets can use AI algorithm to produce bokeh effects. Thus, the number of cameras per smartphone will continue to decline in 2023.”
Global Smartphone Rear Multi-camera Trend
Note: CIS counts include ToF sensors.
Looking from the brand perspective, Research Associate Alicia Gong said, “In H1 2022, the sales volume of CIS for Samsung smartphones declined from that in Q4 2021. However, sales volume of the overall market fell even more, which resulted in the brand’s share increasing to 25% in Q2 2022. Driven by the Galaxy A series, smartphones with a rear quad camera setup still accounted for 57% of Samsung’s total volume. Meanwhile, the sales volume of CIS for Apple’s iPhones in H1 2022 also dropped as the iPhone 13 series started to cool down and the brand entered its slow season. With the launch of the iPhone 14 series in September, Apple’s share will increase in H2 2022.”
Global Smartphone CIS Sales Volume Share by Brand
Notes: CIS counts include ToF and SL sensors; Xiaomi includes Redmi; OPPO excludes OnePlus; vivo excludes iQOO
Gong added, “For Chinese brands, the volume share of CIS for Xiaomi smartphones rose slightly from that in Q4 2021, helped by improved supply and the 618 shopping festival promotions in China, while OPPO and vivo remained stable. Starting from a low base last year, HONOR’s share rose to 5% in Q2 2022. These Chinese brands had shifted their focus to enhancing core camera performance and image quality instead of camera numbers.”
Although we expect the smartphone CIS industry shipments to see a high-single digit percentage increase in H2 2022 from that in H1 2022, the total shipments in 2022 are still expected to drop 10% YoY due to weak demand for smartphones resulting from geopolitical conflicts, rising inflation, ongoing pandemic and weak economic conditions.
Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.