Consumers Now Take More Than a Quarter of All Photos and Videos on Smartphones

PORT WASHINGTON, NY, DECEMBER 22, 2011 – Smartphones are becoming the go-to device for many consumers who want to take photos and videos on the fly. According to leading market research company The NPD Group’s new Imaging Confluence Study, the share of U.S. consumers taking photos and videos on their smartphones has grown, while the camera and traditional camcorders share has declined. The percent of photos taken with a smartphone (Apple iPhone or any other smartphone) went from 17 last year to 27 this year while the share of photos taken on any camera dropped from 52 percent to 44 percent.


Source: The NPD Group/Imaging Confluence Study 2011


“There is no doubt that the smartphone is becoming ‘good enough’ much of the time; but thanks to mobile phones, more pictures are being taken than ever before,” said Liz Cutting, executive director and senior imaging analyst at NPD.  “Consumers who use their mobile phones to take pictures and video were more likely to do so instead of their camera when capturing spontaneous moments, but for important events, single purpose cameras or camcorders are still largely the device of choice.”

Camcorders and lower-end point-and-shoot cameras appear to have taken the brunt of the movement to smartphones. According to NPD’s Retail Tracking Service, the point-and-shoot camera market was down 17 percent in units and 18 percent in dollars for the first 11 months of 2011.  Pocket camcorders were down 13 percent in units and 27 percent in dollars and traditional flash camcorders declined 8 percent in units and 10 percent in dollars.

There were, however, positive growth segments of the market.  Detachable lens cameras increased by 12 percent in units and 11 percent in dollars over the same time period, with an average price of $863; and point-and-shoot cameras with optical zooms of 10x or greater grew by 16 percent in units and 10 percent in dollars, with an average price of $247.


An online survey was fielded between November 11th – November 21st, 2011 to a U.S. representative sample of adults (18+) and teens (13-17) from NPD’s Proprietary Online Registered Panel.  Panel members were asked to visit the NPD Online Research Survey Site in order to complete and submit the survey. 

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