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Has the smartphone killed the point-and-shoot camera?

Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller introduces the new iPhone 4s at the company's headquarters Oct. 4, 2011 in Cupertino, Calif.

Jeremy Hobson: Well so far here on the streets of London, my unofficial score is 3 to nothing -- three overheard conversations about the European debt crisis, no overheard conversations about the new iPhone 4S. But maybe people don't know about the phone's new camera.

As Marketplace's Jennifer Collins reports, it's going to have a big impact on digital camera companies.


Jennifer Collins: Apple's new iPhone camera has a higher resolution, a low light lens and it takes pictures fast -- in about a second.

Michael Gartenberg is with research firm Gartner.

Michael Gartenberg: You add it all up together and it means you have a ubiquitous camera in your pocket as well as a phone.

He says for camera makers like Canon, Olympus and Nikon, that's a problem.

Gartenberg: I think we've hit the beginning of the end of the point-and-shoot camera. So many people are using their camera phones instead of taking along another device.

Of the 600 billion digital pics taken by amateurs every year, 60 percent are taken on camera phones. The market for digital cameras is flat.

But industry analyst Steve Hoffenberg says camera phones still have a long way to go before they displace the point-and-shoot completely.

Steve Hoffenberg: People like having separate dedicated digital cameras to use for special occasions.

Like when you're on vacation or your kid graduates from college.

I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

About the author

Jennifer Collins is a reporter for the Marketplace portfolio of programs. She is based in Los Angeles, where she covers media, retail, the entertainment industry and the West Coast.

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