It is predicted that 81 per cent of cameras sold in the next four years will have a built-in camera, according to industry analyst Gartner .

Already, almost half of mobile phones sold globally are camera models, according to Gartner. As camera-phones become cheaper and more advanced, the analyst company predicts that this number will continue to grow.

"A camera is a feature that consumers expect to see in new devices, whether they are interested in using it or not," said Carolina Milanesi, principal research analyst at Gartner.

"With improved quality of camera phone pictures, users can now really enjoy viewing pictures on their PCs, printing them or uploading pictures directly from their phones onto their blog," she said.

Gartner also notes that consumers of today judge their mobile phone cameras along the same criteria as digital cameras. Taking this into account, manufacturers are predicted to continue to cram more megapixels into mobile phones, and may become stiff competitors in the digital camera market.

More than half of all camera phones sold within the next five years are predicted to have either a 1- or 2-megapixel camera sensor. Five megapixel cameras are expected to penetrate the market to a larger extent, Gartner said. Anna Lagerkvist