I'm curious what the industry has to say about smartphones with some very high end technology built into them, costing what they do versus a dedicated security camera with far less capability.
For example let's take a Hikvision DS-2CD2185 which is an 8MP (4K) IR dome in their Value Plus series. My cost on it is roughly $365 CAD from ADI. It is capable of 20 FPS at 4K resolution and has a fixed lens. ALL it does is watch and transmit video.
For comparison let's examine the Google Pixel 2 smartphone which is $850 CAD to buy outright from the Google Play store. It's equipped with two cameras - a 12.2MP back capable of shooting 4K 30 FPS, has digital and optical image stabilization, and laser focus, while the front camera is 8MP and can shoot 1080p 30 FPS.
Now bear in mind that the Pixel also has AC Wifi, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE, GPS, 4GB RAM, 64GB built in storage, microphones and speakers, light sensors, a barometer, magnetometer, accelerometer, a fingerprint scanner, and a 5 inch AMOLED display. FAR more technology than a dome camera and an equally great amount of engineering to make it all work together.
Consider that both objects are typically on 24/7/365 (at least my smartphone is). The phone isn't running the camera constantly of course, but nothing suggests that it couldn't. With live streams now so prevalent the phone is more than capable of uploading its video wirelessly given that the network infrastructure is in place. Low light performance of these smartphone cameras is also improving greatly.
So if you take the cost of the Hikvision camera and plot its capabilities versus cost, and then do the same for the smartphone, obviously the smartphone wins. Clearly they are intended for different roles but my point is that an electronic device that incorporates such advanced technology is not that much more expensive than one which is FAR simpler. With the right app you can even plug in an older used smartphone and use it as a wifi security camera. I can get a used Nexus smartphone off my local Kijiji for about $250 CAD and it'll do 4K 30 FPS...
What I'd like to know is if smartphone manufacturers can offer such a far-and-away more advanced device for just a little over twice the cost of a fixed dome camera, how do camera manufacturers justify the high cost of such simple devices? Is it sales volumes? Is it because they have diverse lines that they need to build multiple tooling and molds for? Or is it because of specialized-market economics (we charge so much because we can)?