Bottom Line: New focus proves smartphones are king

Elizabeth Fournier

IF further proof were needed that smartphone photos became a dominant form of communication in 2013, it was certainly provided yesterday by the Danish PM.

Caught selfie-ing alongside David Cameron and Barack Obama at Nelson Mandela’s memorial yesterday, Helle Thorning-Schmidt didn’t bother taking her camera along to the event – she just whipped out her phone and told her fellow dignitaries to say cheese.

Recent digital camera statistics suggest most guests at the event were likely to be doing the same – historical data for October from the CIPA shows the number of cameras produced has plummeted from more than 14m in 2009 to just 6.3m this year. It’s fallen by a third in the last year alone and looks set to continue on its downward trend as camera phones become more sophisticated; the most recent Nokia Lumia packs a 41 megapixel sensor, while even top-level digital SLRs only have about 24.

All of which makes chipmaker CSR’s decision to retreat from the sector look very sensible indeed.

It shows management’s willingness to admit when something’s not working, and means more resources can be devoted to industries that are actually growing. That’s something for investors to smile about.

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