A growing number of people using ink cartridges to print out copies of their snaps may have taken pictures using a smartphones.

It was noted by GfK Retail and Technology that as the technology used in mobile phones has developed, they have become a viable alternative to compact digital cameras.

One key advantage of smartphones is the ability to connect to the internet to allow people to share their snaps through social networking sites instantly – which only ten per cent of cameras can do.

As it was recently stated by Pingdom that 4.5 million images are uploaded each day to Flickr alone, this may be a key factor for many people.

However, GfK noted the range of features and quality is still not at the same standard as higher-end SLRs.

"While in some instances they may cut out demand for low end cameras, at the same time, there is an increasing demand for high end cameras as consumers are becoming more enthusiastic about photography," GfK said.

As a result, Digital SLRs and compacts with interchangeable lenses saw sales grow by 17 per cent over the first nine months of 2011.