News: Digital camera sales still slowing

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The latest 2005.03 data from Japan's CIPA (Camera and Imaging Products Association) shows that digital camera sales have clearly peaked and are stagnating. Overall, first quarter production units are up 5% but revenue as a whole is down 10.9% compared to the same period last year.

By category: The sub 4-megapixel category is the worst hit with total quarterly production of only 29.8% and sales of 20.4% of last year's figures. The strongest category was 4-6 megapixel cameras with 8.7 million units sold first quarter for a revenue of 165 billion yen. Only 2.5 million 6+ megapixel cameras were sold, for a revenue of 90.7 billion yen.

By region:

Japan: First quarter revenue is off 6.6% compared to last year, even though sales units increased 6.6%.

Europe: Quarterly revenue is off 13.7% compared to last year and sales only increased by 0.2%.

North America: Quarterly revenue is off 5.1% compared to last year even with a sales units increase of 6.2%.

Asia: Quarterly revenue is off 2.2% compared to last year even with a sales units increase of 8.1%.

Other regions (South America/Africa): This is the only bright spot with quarterly revenue is up 35.1% compared to last year and a very strong sales units increase of 68.3%.


The drop in sales revenue is due to aggressive price-cutting caused by fierce competition from other manufacturers as well as from digital cell phone cameras (which are not included in this data). Only moderate unit increases are forecast in the future due to market saturation and consumer satisfaction with their current 4-6 megapixel units.

For further reference, see my CIPA 2005.01 report on this subject; or my 2005.03.28 article titled Digital Camera Wars Heat Up.

In other news:In the U.K., the decrease in revenue from profits is hitting retailers according to this May 10, 2005 article in the Register:

The sale of digital cameras bombed in February according to the latest industry figures. While sales of digital cameras grew by 36 per cent in November they only managed a measly increase of 0.1 per cent in February.

The sudden drop in demand has been highlighted by high street camera shop Jessops, which reported today that trading in February and early March saw 'an unprecedented decline in digital camera sales and the toughest trading conditions...since digital cameras were launched onto the market in the mid 1990s'.

It explains that the industry-wide plummet in sales gives 'some context to the sudden decline in the [company's] sales in the second quarter'."

Source for Japanese Data: CIPA (Camera and Imaging Products Association).
Analysis: Karen Nakamura for

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This page contains a single entry by Karen Nakamura published on May 11, 2005 9:43 AM.

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