Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 5 is not only a phone, but a great camera, so says Barclays. Analysts at Barclays are out with a new report discussing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 5’s growing usage as a camera. This is at least the third recent report by Barclays on the iPhone 5’s use as a camera. We summarize the main points below:

iPhone 5 Samsung Galaxy S3

The iPhone is not only used much more to access the web than Android phones – it is used more as a camera too. The iPhone 5 is rapidly ascending the Flickr charts – showing consumers are using it as a real camera – and is now in the top 5 cameras on Flickr. This type of behavior is quite valuable, in their opinion, fostering user loyalty and higher value within the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ecosystem.

The pace at which the iPhone 5 surpassed the Galaxy S2 phone from Samsung (in early November, 2012) is quite impressive as well to the analysts. The Apple iPhone 4S remains the most popular camera on with 5,665 average daily users as of 2/18/13. The iPhone 4 remained in second place, with 4,194 average daily users up from 4,118 last week.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) already has four of the five most popular camera phones on Flickr, including now the iPhone 5, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and the iPhone 3GS.  According to the most recent week’s data, the iPhone 5 remains well within the top 5 cameraphone list with 3,465 average daily users. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is now the fourth most popular phone on Flickr, surpassing the iPhone 3GS.

apple iphone popularity on flickr

The analysts note that the iPhone5 has over 3,000 average daily users compared to the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S2, which have been available longer, and only have 812 and 701, respectively. The iPhone is clearly being used as a premium device much more than are Samsung models when it comes to pictures.

Barclayst believes that the iPhone is actually becoming the digital camera of choice for consumers in developed markets, reflecting its ease of use and ability to get photos online quickly. This usability helps warrant a premium for the product and creates stickiness with software that connects consumers with other Apple products.

The iPhone 4S augmented Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s position in the higher value smart phone arena, in their view, given significant enhancements to the camera, photo editing software and sharing capabilities. In fact, the iPhone 4S has passed the iPhone 4 to become the most popular camera on Flickr.

Barclays believes that the iPhone 5 has an even better digital camera than the iPhone 4S – setting Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) up for more share gains as the device gains adoption in the months ahead. In particular the faster shutter speeds and panorama features are noticeable upgrades in the iPhone5 – and should make it rise much faster than any other Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) device in history on Flickr.

Flickr is a leading image hosting website and is used by many photography enthusiasts to host high quality photos. According to Yahoo!, Flickr’s owner, there are over 51 million registered users that upload about 4.5 million photos daily. Flickr is integrated into Apple’s iPhoto for easy uploading and there is a dedicated app available for the iPhone for easy sharing.