At a time when pocket-sized cameras are peaking in quality, they're also becoming spectacularly unnecessary. Like so many other consumer gadgets, these cameras will fall victim to smartphones, if only for a single reason -- no one wants to carry both a smartphone and a camera.
It's not that smartphones always take great pictures. Most models only do a serviceable job of image making. The simple convenience of the camera-in-your-phone concept, though, is just easier than cramming yet another device into your pockets or purse. That's why in 2010, manufacturers sold about 132 million compact cameras, and three years later, about 50 million fewer [source: Wakabayashi].
There are still plenty of smartphone holdouts, of course, and those people will still enjoy the increasing quality and power of small cameras. For everyone else, though, pocket cameras will fade like Polaroid prints hanging in direct sunlight.