Rant: Compact digital camera wars

| | Comments (3)

Various Japanese industry analysts believe that in two to three years, the number of major manufacturers involved in compact digital camera production will be halved. The relentless 6-month product cycle, deep discounting of old stock, competition from camera-phones, market saturation, and huge R&D investment is not sustainable over the long run. Who will survive? Let's look at the field:

  1. Canon
  2. Nikon
  3. Minolta
  4. Sony
  5. Kodak
  6. Pentax
  7. Olympus
  8. Panasonic
  9. Leica (Panasonic)
  10. Casio
  11. Ricoh
  12. Sanyo
  13. Kyocera/Contax
  14. Toshiba
  15. Epson

We've already seen Epson, Toshiba and Contax leave the field (although Epson is trying to get back in with the R-D1). Casio and Ricoh are struggling to stay in play, and Pentax is looking weaker in recent months. According to a recent report, Panasonic only holds 3% of the compact digital camera market in Japan. Also check this listing of sales.

Have thoughts who will remain? Post a comment here.

3 Comments

You forgot Sanyo, the world's largest producer and Kyocera, who have also withdrawn.

You're right. Sanyo does produce digital cameras -- in very small numbers. I'd expect them to soon withdraw from the market, they don't have many competitive models. What are they the world's largest producer of? Not digital cameras, not unless you count their cell-phone cameras.
Kyocera was making digital compact cameras under the Contax label. See the other blog entry on their official withdrawal.

Sanyo is the world's largest producer of digital cameras. This is according to the Financial Times. What is your source?

Sanyo produces cameras for third parties. The names you list are just brands under which the cameras are sold at. An example are Leicas being Panasonics - same maker (and L would certainly not be a "major manufacturer" anyway). You are confusing brands with manufacturers, in a very subjective way.

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This page contains a single entry by Karen Nakamura published on March 28, 2005 12:58 PM.

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