Market Insight

Phones with More than Two Cameras: Wave of the Future or Hype?

December 12, 2014  | Subscribers Only

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2014 has seen the release of new phones that upset the common and comfortable two camera paradigm that has emerged in smart phones over the last five years. With a lower-resolution camera for selfies and videoconferencing and a higher-resolution one for outward facing still images and video, today’s smartphone seems to have all obvious uses cases covered. What could additional image sensors possibly add to the experience?

How about three image sensors…or even six? Phone vendors are dipping their toes in the water with new designs with three or more sensors. These new models may represent the beginning of a paradigm shift in camera phones. If these designs take hold, they could speed the overall adoption of smart phones as well as accelerate consumer phone upgrades. If not, then they just represent transient hype that will soon be forgotten. It all depends on whether the applications and use cases for these new hardware designs gain the attention, and then the wallets, of consumers.

There have been phones offering three image sensors in the past, including releases in 2011 from HTC and LG that were marketed as 3D-capable phones.  Another more recent multi-camera release was the HTC One M8 phone, which was demonstrated at Mobile World Congress in February 2014, and released in March and April 2014 in several markets….

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