As smartphones became popular and added good quality integrated camera into it, this has directly impacted the sales of digital cameras.
The first Smartphone that came with an integrated camera was introduced in 1999 – The Kyocera VP-210 (Although Samsung claims it was the SCH-V200 introduced in June 2000.) – Was sold in Japan for around 325 USD and had a 0.11 MP camera, yeah, you read it right, it’s a really low quality image.
Some of the early players include the Sharp J-Phone, also launched in 2000, with a similar 0.11 MP Camera, and the Sanyo SCP-5300 relased in the US in 2002, via Sprint with a 400 Cost. This one at least comes with a slightly better 0.3 MP Camera
But not until 2005, when Sony Ericsson Released the S700i, with a built in 1.3 MP CCD Camera, video recording and 8X Digital Zoom that changed the game.
During 2006, the smartphones started to put pressure onto the digital camera industry, closing the year with 38 Million Units sold vs the 64.8 Units of Digital Cameras.
Visual video of Sales comparison between Camera Phones and Digital Cameras
Then when Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007 it completely changed the game. Introducing a full touch beatiful display with the built in 2.0 MP Camera, it created the WAO effect on consumers.
Soon after the release of the iPhone, for the first time in history, the sales of smartphone overpassed the digital camera: 139 Million Units vs 119.
Later, in 2009 Samsung released the first 12MP camera phone with 28mm wide-angled AF lens and Xenon (LED) Flash with the M8910 Pixon12
During 2012, Nokia announced the Lumia 1020, with PureView tech, a pixel oversampling technique that reduces an image taken at full resolution into a lower resolution picture. By then, They were selling 7 times more smartphones than digital cameras.
And in 2016, the Chinese mobile phone maker – Huawei launched P9, with a dual rear camera setup developed in collaboration with Leica. Many people called it the phone, like a Camera that comes with a phone (and not the other way around). And in 2019, the Same brand introduced the P30 Pro, with 40 MP camera and an optical zoom of 5X
The Year 2019, the number of smartphones sold overpassed 1,5 Billion units, while the digital camera sales dropped to an historical low of 15.2 million units.
As camera phones will get better and better, the tred will most likely continue. However, now with the increased amound of vbloggers, and photography enthusiast, it may someday reversed a little bit the trend.