People's standards have been steadily dropping. As they've gotten used to P&Ss of the past and then the itty bitty cameras in their phones, any photo to many is a good photo.
I don't know that they have. From my camera shop days I remember folk taking 6 months to use up a spool of 36 in their compacts because they were scared of the cost. I sold a lot of folk olympus mjus, I sold a handful of folk a ricoh or contax. Nowt wrong with the mjus btw.
It would take folk six months to find out that the camera had underexposed, that the flash had given everybody red-eye, or that they had cut the heads off some folk in their group portrait.
I remember the second generation compacts, I'm saying 2MP-4MP generation here, when folk couldn't believe A) how great it was to review the images straight away and B) How many AA's they through and C) how much a 32mb smartmedia card cost. How much!!?!
The images did get better. The most obvious mistakes were deleted and only the good ones printed.
I remember when compacts actually got quite good, I'm thinking Nikon 5200, Canon Powershot G5. Nice glass. Lots of control. Probably not wanting to push things too much beyond ISO 200 though, eh?
To my mind peoples standards have been improving, but we are big on convenience. An iphone is good enough for a lot of social fun stuff, and possibly even good enough when you don't have any other camera on you. The news started showing footage from mobile phones (ALWAYS shot vertically.. c'mon)
The images from the iphone are great. Democratic almost. You have the camera in your pocket all the time.
Folk still treat cameras proper with a lot of reverence, oooh it's delicate, ooh its expensive and so great compacts sit in the drawer manual unread, battery uncharged until it's superceded by an iphone.
Compacts have got even better in the meantime, but to buy a compact thats better than an iphone you need to spend a heck of a lot of money.
Convenience is king. For most.