I am working on the 2014 edition of the TomiAhonen Phone Book, a statistical volume about the handset industry which comes out every two years. In it, among the 100 stats, are some numbers and charts about cameraphones. And while working to update those, I have been digging for some very elusive stats about cameras, cameraphones, photographs, and their populations and usage. So I want to share here what I’ve found, as I don’t see anywhere a recent calculation of the total universe of cameras including the most popular camera type by usage, the cameraphone.
For those who only want the numbers and don't care how I calculated them, here is the summary for 2014:
World new sales total cameras 2014: 1.8 Billion cameras for consumers (excluding webcams and security cams etc). 95% of those are cameraphones on mobile phones, 5% are traditional stand-alone cameras.
Global installed base of cameras still operational is 5.8 Billion units. Out of those only 4.0 B are in use (as cameras, most that 'are not used' are on mobile phones/smartphones which are used in other ways but not for their camera). Of the 4 B cameras in use, 440 million (11%) are stand-alone 'traditional' digital cameras and 3.56 B (89%) of all cameras in use on the planet today are on mobile phones/smartphones as cameraphones. Beyond those there are another 1.2 Billion cameraphones not used because their user has a better camera on his/her other smartphone/cameraphone, and 180 million older digital cameras sit in our homes forgotten and forlorn.
The average stand-alone digital camera user takes 375 pictures in 2014 while the average cameraphone user snaps 259 pictures this year. When multipled across the total user bases, that produces 1 Trillion (1,000 Billion) photographs taken this year by digital camera owners. That brings humankind's cumulative picture production total to 5.7 Trillion photographs taken since the first camera was invented.
All stats in this blog that are not otherwise sourced, are from TomiAhonen Phone Book 2014. You may quote all data and stats on this blog and use them for infographics, slides, whatever you want, as long as you credit the source as TomiAhonen Phone Book 2014. I would appreciate it, if you create an online article or blog about these numbers, that you also link to this blog. With that, for the propeller-heads, here is the full story:
MIGRATION FROM STAND-ALONE TO CAMERAPHONE
We’ve seen for years now the gradual migration from dedicated stand-alone cameras to cameraphones. In 2012 the O2 All About You survey of UK mobile subscribers found that 39% of mobile phone users had abandoned using a stand-alone camera and had switched to using the camera on the mobile phone instead. The cameras I talk about in thus study are all digital cameras. Already the older film-based camera base is diminishing to near extinction, less than 1% of all pictures taken are on film as reported by 1000Memories already in 2011. So for this article all stand-alone cameras are ‘digital stand-alone cameras’ as distinct from cameraphones ie mobile phone based cameras. Film based cameras are ignored as being too tiny to matter in the statistics, lost in the rounding-off error. So incidentially are also stand-alone videocameras, a popular category a decade ago but now a miniscule slice of the stand-alone segment. And one more clarification, I will ignore all camera units that are webcam attachments for computers, and also any that are pre-installed on laptops for videocalling. And as to tablets, yes, they are an interesting new slice but they too are far too small to matter, and most who own a tablet, have a better camera on their phone, and will tend to use the phone camera instead of the tablet. Not everybody, but far more than half of tablet owners will do that.
The stand-alone digital camera sales peaked at about 120 million units sold per year in 2008. From 2010 the stand-alone digital camera sales have been in annual decline according to CIPA statistics (the camera industry association). Currently this year 2014 will see about 95 million stand-alone digital cameras sold. Contrast that with cameraphones, in 2012 MIC (a mobile industry analyst house) reported that 83% of new mobile phones sold had a camera, that was 1.48 Billion cameraphones. So already two years ago 93% of all new cameras sold on the planet were on mobile phones, not on stand-alone cameras. This year 2014 we will see sales of 1.7 Billion cameraphones and about 95 million stand-alone digital cameras, so cameraphones now account for 95% of new camera sales in 2014. Yes, only 5% of all new cameras sold today is a device you buy at a camera store or the camera counter at an electronics store and one that has a brand like Canon or Nikon. The bestselling camera brands today are Samsung, Apple and LG. The Apple iPhone alone will outsell all stand-alone camera brands, Canon, Nikon etc combined, and doubled. Yes even if iPhone sales fell by half by some weird reason today, Apple would still sell more cameras on iPhones alone, ignoring iPads etc, than all Canon, Nikon etc stand-alone cameramakers, combined. Please note, that there is no significant migration 'the other way'. Except those who truly intend a professional photogrpher career (far less than 1% of total cameraphone owners) nobody is abandoning cameraphone usage and switching to stand-alone digital cameras..
Lets also talk a bit about those cameraphones. They are not all smartphones. All smartphones are cameraphones yes, but all cameraphones are not smartphones. No no no no no. Last year was the first year when more than half of phones sold were smartphones. The majority of cameraphones in use still this year 2014 will be ‘dumbphones’ or perhaps more properly labeled ‘featurephones’. Low cost and mid-range phones that do have cameras, often also have touch-screens, but are not smartphones. They do have internet connectivity and can usually also have some apps installed such as using Java, but they are not smartphones. So remember while you and I reading this blog have our Galaxies and iPhones and Xperias, that is not the ‘normal users’ of a cameraphone in the world. The most common type of cameraphones is a ‘featurephone’ so if you think Nokia’s Asha line, that type of phone specs are what the ‘normal’ user of a cameraphone has on the planet, not the iPhone. We’re looking at 2 or 3 megapixel sensors not 8 or 12. But note, its not anymore the VGA resoluton 0.3 megapixel camera either (even though those exist too and some still sell).
I wanted to calculate as well as possible the installed base of both cameraphones and stand-alone cameras. Then I also wanted to calculate as close as possible an estimate of the active users. And while I often beg the industry go out and survey cameraphone users for some real statistics, we have precious few. But we have some data points. And they are just about enough for us to create a rudimentary model that is reasonably accurate, as we have nothing better out of survey data.
The problem is, that people have multiple devices. And we know that people are migrating their behavior from one to the other. The gap between cameraphones and stand-alone digital cameras is shrinking and in some ways cameraphones have already passed past professional supercameras. The Nokia 808 Pureview with its 41mp sensor was on that metric - image pixel density (sharpness of the image, the level of accuracy that can be captured under ideal lighting conditons) - better than the most expensive professional cameras by Canon and Nikon where the mere body of the camera cost 10,000 US dollars. Yes, a cameraphone was better (on that one metric, under ideal conditions). If means if you took a picture of a large audience, lets say a picture of a battalion of soldiers standing in formation at some parade. Took that picture with the best Canon at the time the Canon EOS 1DS Mark X, and attached the best wide-angle 24mm Canon lens, and set the camera on a tripod and used a self-timer (no shaking from the finger of the camera user) and it was a bright sunny day, you get excellent images of the soldiers.
But then if you put right next to that tripod, a second tripod, used the Nokia cameraphone adapter to attach the 808 Pureview to the tripod, and set the self-timer, and took the picture on the cameraphone using just its inbuilt Carl Zeiss wide-angle lens, you would get a rival picture. The Canon 1DS Mark X had Canon’s highest resolution sensor at 18 mp in 2012. The Nokia 808 Pureview had 41mp (which only produces pictures at either 38mp or 34mp. Still, if you now magnify that wide-angle image of 600 men, so that each face is visible - the Nokia picture is twice as sharp as that with the most expensive professional camera Canon had ever made up to that time !!! Yes, the cameraphone is not just catching up to (some) aspects of stand-alone point-and-shoot low-end cameras, and even passing them on some aspects (the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom in 2013 with its 10x optical zoom) but yes, now for example the Nokia/Microsoft Lumia 1020 has that magnificent 41mp sensor on it. If you want to create wall-sized posters of landscapes or very large populations of people, say a stadium shot of the audience - the Lumia 1020 or Nokia 808 Pureview is still today in 2014 literally the best camera to use (under good lighting conditions ie during daylight).
Before the cameratrolls hit this blog, yes yes yes, obviously yes, lots of other things matter in addition to pixels. Most of all, the optical quality of the lens. There are things with the sensor size itself - a larger sensor (not pixel count, I mean physical size) allows more light to be collected etc etc etc... yes yes, but if you want DETAIL, then pixel count is paramount. And currently the Nokia-invented Pureview tech (now owned and sold by Microsoft in its Lumia line) is the sharpest consumer camera sold on the planet. And you can get one at a discount bin in many phone stores haha..
DATA POINTS FOR OUR MODEL
So lets go back to our problems. We have multiple cameras. Every consumer on the planet who bought a camera (ie it was not a gift or say part of some inheritage) has also bought a mobile phone. By every, ok there will be the oddball weirdo who is resisting against all odds and never bought or used a cellphone.. Fine, that is far FAR less than 1% of the employed adult population. There are MORE people who once bought or used a mobile phone but somehow kicked that habit or abandoned the device, preferring to live in some kind of digital hermit status, say like drug dealer king-pins of the Mafia. Or terrorists or some world leaders like Vladimir Putin (who arranged the precision-killing of the President of Chechnya who was targeted from the air when he was using his mobile phone). But these people have used mobile phones in the past...
So yeah. Far more than 99% of those people who can afford to buy a stand-alone camera, already own a mobile phone. Most of those people are ‘affluent’ and will already own a smartphone. They all have had cameras now for many years. And of the non-smatphone but still stand-alone camera owners, most of those phones are also now cameraphones. Of new non-smartphone mobile phones (dumbphones and ‘featurephones’) 79% sold this year 2014 will have a camera on it.
Now we have a big problem. We know that somewhere near 100 million stand-alone cameras (at its peak, 120 million) are sold every year but all of those also own a cameraphone, and some are migrating camera behavior from stand-alone cameras to cameraphones. So can we find out which camera is used by whom (as the primary camera).
Then we have the issue of multiple device ownership. In mobile phones this is very common, more than half of Europeans who have a mobile phone, have two mobile phones. Over a quarter of Americans with cellphones have two already. What we tend to do, is if we walk around with two phones, we tend to use the camera on the phone that is newer or in some way better. If one pocket has an 8mp iPhone and the other pocket has the Blackberry, we use the iPhone. But then we replace the BB with a new Sony, and now in one pocket we have the iPhone but the other pocket has the 20mp Sony Xperia, now we use the Sony.
So with cameraphones, we know its quite common in the Industrialized World for smartphone owners especially to already have two phones in use but then mostly, only use one of those two for its camera (currently). Of course sometimes we may find that the battery is dead on our primary camera and we then use the older phone, or maybe one is special in one way so if you walk around with the Nokia Pureview camera on one pocket and the Samsung Galaxy Zoom (K Zoom or S4 Zoom) in the other pocket, you probably take pictures with both, depending on situational needs. But again, I am not looking at the camera freak here, I am trying to map out the general public. So yeah, maybe 1% or 2% are some kind of hybrid users, most will have a clear preference, I take pictures primarily with ‘this’ phone and that will be so, until maybe the next phone has a better camera on it.
That means, that from the cameraphone side, where the vast majority of the device population exists, we have to calculate out the population of ‘second’ cameraphones, the ones we own and often carry, but are not using for its camera (currently). It may have thousands of pictures on it, from last year when it was still our primary camera, but now that we have the newest toy in our pocket that older cameraphone is no longer used (as a camera).
So I have used my proprietary model for calculating the multiple device ownership stats, to give a good estimate of the unique cameraphone user number, and then eliminated that number from the total installed base of cameraphones in the wild today. That was the easy part. There is a similar problem on the stand-alone camera side. Some people who buy a digital camera, already own a digital camera, and just find that the old camera is now not good enough, and want to replace it. Some - very few of the total population - actually have a camera collection in use, ie more than one stand-alone camera, but those are semi-pro or pro photographers and their number is less than 1% of the total camera user population. So, we know how many stand-alone cameras are sold annually, but do we know how many are sold as replacement cameras for an older stand-alone (film-based or) digital camera? That would give us the ‘growth metric’ to calculate the installed base of total stand-alone cameras per year. We know that is less than 100 million but how much less.
I was able to find one metric reported by The Guardian based on a ‘survey’ but their article did not identify whose survey. It was as far as I could tell, a survey of UK stand-alone camera buyers. The Telegraph said on 29 June 2012 that 39% of new buyers of digital cameras bought their new stand-alone digital camera to replace an existing camera. This is a very valuable data point and I only wish we had more such data from other countries or globally, but it does give us a good reference point.
Then we know that stand-alone cameras are being replaced, they used to replace film-based cameras and now also are replacing older digital stand-alone cameras. But as we learned from the O2 survey, four out of ten are not replacing their existing camera at all, as the cameraphone has now become the camera being used. So lets see if we can achieve a ceiling number. We know the new sales of cameras peaked in 2010 so by now we are in the stage where total stand-alone camera population (in use) is in decline globally, not growing. So lets see recent stats of what we have for the ceiling. The Telegraph article gave UK adult ownership of stand-alone digital cameras at 78%. We have a very similar US statistic by the US Consumer Electonics Association from 2011 saying 62% of US adults own a digital camera (and at that time already 72% owned a cellphone). If we use their mid-point as our ‘Industrialized World average’ number we get 70% of adults. Now, obviously, some youth also own cameras but increasingly that is their smartphone. Nonetheless, we can assume this statistic extends to some age below ‘adulthood’ but not far below (mobile phone ownership now goes in advanced markets to children below age 7). So if we say age 16 is the limit, and just for statistical convenience zero percent of teens age 15 and below own a stand-alone camera, and 70% of all age 16 and above... we get total industrialized world stand-alone digital camera ownership estimate at 555 million people over age 16 in the Industrialized World. Then lets add in the rest of stand-alone cameraphone sales which is in the Emerging World. That proportion has been rising but is only about a quarter now (in the Emerging World there is a far higher likelihood of a camera owner only having a smartphone with a ‘good enough’ camera, not a stand-alone camera). So I get a total global digital camera owner number of 610 million.
STAND-ALONE DIGITAL CAMERA DEVICES AND USERS
Now we have some good data we can work with. We know how many new stand-alone digital cameras are sold every year (the cumulative sales is nearly 1.2 Billion digital cameras ever sold by the end of this year 2014). We know that 61% of the new sales of stand-alone cameras go to first-time stand-alone digital camera buyers. And based on that, we can calculate also the period of how many years the current installed base has been building (and a replacement cycle). The current stand-alone digital camera population has been building for 10.5 years. Ten and a half years (not 5 months haha).
We also can now calculate the total installed base of digital cameras still in existence which is 1.05 Billion. And using the same model - obviously its not precise, but we can estimate that the average stand-alone digital camera owner has typically 1.6 stand-alone cameras (which can be digital or film-based). That user obviously more often than not, is not using the other camera but may have several cameras for whatever specialized needs and uses, and may indeed use more than one camera.
So there is an ‘ownership base’ of 610 million stand-alone digital camera owners, who own 1.05 Billion digital cameras. All of those 610 million stand-alone digital camera owners also own a mobile phone and practically all of them will now have a cameraphone (often two). So what about migration from digital cameras to cameraphones? A survey by AYTM in 2013 reported that 28% of those who own a stand-alone digital camera, do not use it (anymore, or rarely use it) because they use the camera on the cameraphone. Ah, now we have very good data point to understand.
Of 610 million who own a digital camera, 72% use that digital camera as their primary camera. That is 440 million people. They in turn own (in addition to at least one cameraphone) typically 705 million digital cameras (not all in use today).
CAMERAPHONE POPULATION AND USERS
Then of the cameraphone population. Total cameraphones sold since the first Sharp model sold in Japan at the dawn of the millenium, is 11 Billion. Out of those, 4.8 Billion cameraphones are in use today (at least as mobile phones). When we eliminate multiple device ownership, and I do make the assumption that most who own two phones will own two phones of roughly similar class ie if you are affluent you own two smartphones (not one smartphone and one cheap dumbphone) or if you are poor but have two phones (a rickshaw taxi operator for example) for convenience of your business they will both then be ultra-cheap reliable Nokia basic models... So while this is definitely not always true, it is probably mostly true, that those who own two phones, will have them as roughly similar price-range phones.
So lets eliminate multiple devices to find the ownership of cameraphones. Using my consultancy model (I am the oldest expert to report on multiple mobile phone ownership among consumers as I was also literally the first person to discover this bizarre phenomenon when it was first measures in Finland in 1996) I arrive at 4.0 Billion unique cameraphone owners in the world today. Across the planet they own on average 1.2 cameraphones per person or one in five owns two cameraphones.
LETS DO VENN DIAGRAM
So lets now separate the two and get some meaningful data. So 620 million are current digital stand-alone camera owners but only 440 million of those remain as active users of their digital cameras. Thus 180 million of current owners of stand-alone digital cameras have abandoned that stand-alone digital camera and use the cameraphone instead (28%). Now lets look from the side of cameraphones. 4.0 Billion cameraphone owners are in the world. Every stand-alone digital camera owners also has a cameraphone so they are in this population, but those 440 million prefer using their digital camera. So 3.56 Billion cameraphone owners also use their cameraphone as the primary camera. And obviously 440 million (11%) of cameraphone owners prefer to use a stand-alone digital camera rather than the camera on their mobile phone.
So we have serious stats here.. First, new digital camera sales in 2014 (estimate)
NEW SALES OF CAMERAS 2014
New digital camera sales in 2014 by type
Cameraphones . . . . . . . . . 1.7 billion . . . . . . 95%
Stand-alone cameras . . . . . . . 95 million . . . . . 5%
TOTAL digital cameras . . 1.8 billlion . . . . . 100%
Source: TomiAhonen Phone Book 2014
This data may be freely shared
Obviously the cameraphone won the ‘war’ of the cameras, in the past decade and now stand-alone cameras are only a niche product while the mobile phone obviously is the global mass-market gadget.
CURRENT INSTALLED BASE OF CAMERAS
Installed Base of Digital Cameras 2014
Cameraphones in use as phones . . . . 4.8 B
Cameraphones used as cameras . . . . 3.6 B (75%)
Stand-alone cameras operational . . . 1.0 B
Stand-alone cameras in use . . . . . . . . . 440 M (44%)
TOTAL digital camera population . . 5.8 B
TOTAL cameras in use . . . . . . . . . . . 4.0 B (69%)
Source: TomiAhonen Phone Book 2014
This data may be freely shared
Note that 1.2 Billion cameras on mobile phones used today, are NOT used as cameras. That is more than all stand-alone digital cameras ever made - and this number of cameraphones in use today - are in the pockets of their owners and just unused. Thesee are often quite advanced smartphones too with cameras with sensors easily up to ranges of 5mp to 8mp. Most of the cameraphones which are not in use, is not because the owner has a digital camera that is better (although that is a significant minority); the majority is not used because the same user has an even better camera on their other phone!
Active users of cameras in the world, by type of camera, 2014
Total cameraphone owners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.0 billion
Camera users whose primary camera on phone . . . . . 3.56 billion . . . . . (89%)
Stand-alone camera unique owners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 620 M
Stand-alone camera owners using stand-alone camera . . 440 million . . . (11%)
TOTAL unique camera users globally . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.0 billion . . . . . (100%)
Source: TomiAhonen Phone Book 2014
This data may be freely shared
That is the big number we want. 4 Billion total unique camera owners on the planet (all are also mobile phone owners and for practical purposes, I’d say over 99% of those are also cameraphone owners). 56% of the total population alive on the planet now has a digital camera in their pocket 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Wow. This is AFTER we remove multiple device ownership so yes, this is unique users. So recognize, most home electronics stats we get, like TV ownership, etc is measured 'by household'. This is measured 'per capita'. And yes, often we get stats 'of the adult population' but no, this is against 'total population' quite literally of all ages including babies. And yes, 56% of the planet has a camera in their pocket ever day. 4 Billion active camera users on the planet.
What kind of cameras? 89% of the people on the planet who have a camera, have it on a mobile phone and do not own a stand-alone camera at all. Only 11% of camera users use a stand-alone digital camera as their primary camera (while all also own a cameraphone and most also own at least one other digital camera). So when I say 9 out of 10 camera users on the planet who take pictures have never used a stand-alone camera, the statistics actually come very close to that rule-of-thumb, as obivously the discrepancy among digital camera ownership skews very strongly for Indistrialized World vs Emerging World. In the Industrialized World 70% of adults (555 million) own a stand-alone digital camera (and 25% of those have quit using it). But in the Emerging World only 55 million own a stand-alone digital camera which is only 1% of the adult population. But even in the Emerging World, approx 75% of the adult population now has a cameraphone.
1 TRILLION PICTURES THIS YEAR
So then how many pictures do we take? Ah, this is another really interesting item and VERY hard to pin down. We had some early numbers talking of a rough number of 150 pictures per year but nobody has recently quantified it further. Except for one. National Geographic had a study of US digital camera users, including cameraphone users, that found that in year 2011 the average digital camera owner took 255 pictures. They also reported that 37% of the pictures taken were with cameraphones. They did not break down the digital camera universe but we can get that from other sources like the Consumer Electronics Association and using smartphones as the proxy for cameraphones, we get ComScore stats for US smartphone ownership. The USA is a particularly good market still in 2011 as the multiple-phone ownership phenomenon was severely lagging the rest of the Industrialized World and many still used older Blackberries or older iPhones with very modest cameras. So the numbers are ‘relatively pure’ not contaminated by heavy overlap of multiple-device cross-over and cannibalization as they would today..
Now we can calculate out the split, how many of the pictures were taken by stand-alone digital cameras, and how many by cameraphones and we get that in 2011: the average digital camera owner took 302 pictures, and the average cameraphone owner took 201 pictures. And better yet, National Geographic also gives us the growth rate - the picture taking grows at a rate of 7.5% annually.
I wish we had more data points but we can build a reasonably good model out of this. So allowing growth from 2011 at the same rate for both camera types, we get this level of picture taking per camera user per year:
DIGITAL PICTURES TAKEN PER YEAR IN 2014 BY CAMERA TYPE
Stand-alone digital camera user . . . . . 375
Cameraphone camera user . . . . . . . . . 249
Source: TomiAhonen Phone Book 2014
This data may be freely shared
Note that as far as I know, this is the only number published in this decade about the variance between stand-alone camera users and cameraphone users, in how many pictures they take per year. Again, this is very VERY rough, and based on old data and using data from several different data sources. But its better than nothing, and I again urge any industry analysts doing market research to please survey the user behavior of cameraphones and give us some reliable survey data of how modern consumers are using their cameras. But now lets see a total measure. Lets multiply pictures taken by cameras in use by type in 2014:
PICTURES TAKEN IN 2014 BY CAMERA TYPE
Stand-alone digital cameras actually still in use . . . . . 440 million
Pictures taken by stand-alone camera user per year . . 375
Total pictures taken on stand-alone cameras . . . . . . . 165 billion
Cameraphones used as cameras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.56 billion
Pictures taken by cameraphone users per year . . . . . . 249
Total pictures taken on cameraphones . . . . . . . . . . . . 886 billion
TOTAL PICTURES TAKEN IN 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.05 Trillion
Source: TomiAhonen Phone Book 2014
This data may be freely shared
So 1 Trillion, 1,000 Billion pictures are taken this year. Thats 146 pictures per human being alive per year. And how does that compare against history? 1000Memories estimated in 2011 that humankind has accumulated 3.5 Trillion pictures taken since the birth of the camera 170 years earlier. We also have a data point also for year 2011, Nikon reported that global digital pictures taken that year was 320 Billion. Now assigning a steady growth path to pictures taken from 2011 to 2014, we arrive at a new grand total of pictures taken by humankind by the end of year 2014 at 5.7 Trillion. 1 Trillion of those were shot this year.
First, is this number at all reasonable? Well, first sanity check point we have is Yahoo! who recently published their estimate that 880 Billion digital images will be taken this year. That is already pretty close.
Then lets go to Facebook. Facebook is the biggest depository of images and was receiving 350 million new pictures daily in 2013. Thats 127 Billion images per year (last year). Now, if we assume that for every picture uploaded to FB, another taken by the same user is not... so that typical Facebook user will only upload half of the total pictures they take (and remember, we will count as pictures taken all that are deleted as for example blurry and fuzzy and of bad light or where we had a bad expression etc) we would have a number of 255 billion photographs taken by Facebook users globally in 2013. And how does FB total user base compare to global digital camera ownership in 2013? Its more than 3 times larger. We can be pretty sure the rest of the world camera owners behave like the Facebook users, in terms of their camera usage, and that gives us a 2013 number of about 810 Billion pictures taken globally. If the total global photograph population grew from 320 Billion in 2011 to 810 Billion in 2013, then definitely it will be more than 1 Trillion today. I know this is very imprecise, but the magnitude is in the right scale. Its not going to be 500 million (is way too low) and its not going to be 2 Trillion (is way too high).
We have another rough guidance number. PhoneArena reported that 23% of owners of cameraphones take pictures they intend to upload onto social media. Note, this obviously includes all social media not only Facebook so our Instagrams, Twitters, Flickrs etc.. but again, lets just take the Facebook number. Take 128 billion pictures uploaded to Facebook and multiply by two (assuming half are eliminated by the photographer) so 255 billion. Divide that by 23% and you get 1.1 Trillion pictures - just via Facebook alone. Again the sanity check says we are roughly in the ballpark.
One Trillion photographs taken this year 2014 seems like a very robust number quite clearly in the ballpark. It may end up being a bit too conservative and I would dearly love to see more survey data of what we actually do with our digital cameras (like how many pictures are erased and never shown to anyone haha...)
But there you go. On one website all the camera and photography stats you want for 2014. Year 2000 cameras were so rare luxury items that less than one in 20 humans owned a camera across the globe. Today 14 years later, the planet has 4 billion camera users which is 56% of the population alive of any age, not just adults and not just in the affluent Industrialized World. This is why we see citizen journalism and why almost any newsworthy event find now photographic evidence, taken often by cameraphones. Because we carry our mobile phones everywhere. And 89% of those camera owners shoot pictures on cameraphones and only 11% of camera owners take pictures on stand-alone digital cameras.
The cameraphone sales are at 1.7 Billion units this year and growing while stand-alone camera sales are at 95 million and declining. The active stand-alone digital camera user snaps on average 375 pictures per year (one per day) and the typical cameraphone owner who uses the camera on the phone, takes on average 249 pictures per year (in other words at the rate of one picture 5 days of every week on average). And the planet reaches the point this year of 1 Trillion pictures taken per year, which brings the cumulative photograph history of humankind to 5.7 Trillion pictures taken (by photographer-humans, ignoring automated traffic cams, surveillance cams, webcams, and all film and video footage that shoots many pictures per second).
Anyone who is interested in these numbers or some part of it, please do share these numbers with anyone and in any way. This is very rare insight to how we use digital tech and the camera continues to be a highly beloved part of the mobile (phone) so its of great relevance to our industry. There is very much we can now do with cameraphones such as reading QR codes and accessing Augmented Reality content, in addition to obviously taking the obligatory Selfie... Please do feel free to share any data in this blog and please link to here if you do... Anyone who can write more briefly haha, please do feel free to summarize this blog to your readers (including in any other languages than English, for your readers). You don’t need to ask permission from me this blog is Creative Commons as its always been. Feel free to use as long as you credit the original source.
So thats on my mind today on a nice Monday. If you are intersted in mobile phone handset statistics, my TomiAhonen Phone Book 2014 edition is coming out soon, I am still finalizing the various stats to it. If you buy the 2012 edition now before the 2014 edition is out, you will receive both for editions for one same low price of 9.99 Euros. I send you the 2012 edition immediately and the 2014 version when that is released in some weeks from now. The TomiAhonen Phone Book has all the stats you could hope to know about smartphones, dumbphones, brands, operating systems, market shares, camera resolutions, screen sizes, regional data, etc... all in one handy ebook volume. See more here TomiAhonen Phone Book.