Thanks to Toshiba and Samsung manufacturing breakthroughs, smartphones with 13-megapixel cameras and beyond could be mainstream before the end of the year.
Ever wondered why -- with one or two notable exceptions -- the majority of the world's premium smartphones are incapable of taking an image larger than 8 megapixels?
The answer is that, until now, phonemakers who wanted to boost their device's photo-taking capabilities only had one choice when looking for better image sensors -- Sony.
The Japanese firm was the only company capable of mass producing 13-megapixel sensors small enough for use in smartphones and, despite being a pioneer, was incapable of building them quickly enough to meet every manufacturer's demands, so it became a sensor used only on comparatively low-selling flagship devices.
However, Toshiba and Samsung have both confirmed that they now also have the capabilities of producing 13-megapixel sensors suitable for phones, meaning that supply and demand are finally on par. This also means that prices will drop and that potentially before the end of 2013, the 13-megapixel camera will be a mid-range smartphone feature.
But even with 13 megapixels becoming a smartphone photo standard, the world's phonemakers still have some way to go in order to compete with Nokia's incredible 41-megapixel image sensor technology, which it demonstrated on its latest flagship phone the Lumia 1020 at its July 11 launch in New York.