Digicam market: Kodak gains, Olympus stumbles|
(Saturday, November 20, 2004 - 12:14 EST)
Two news articles over the last couple of days look at the state of the digital camera market, based on recent reports from research firms IDC and UBS.
According to IDC's report (reported on by News.com), Kodak has closed the gap in US sales volume to market leader Sony, selling just 10,000 units fewer than Sony's 1 million units in the third quarter. That gives Sony a 20% market share, with Kodak at 19.8% and third-placed Canon on 16%.
Significantly, another article from the Hindustan Times based on a UBS report states that Sony lost market share to both Kodak and Canon in the quarter. UBS estimates Kodak's market share somewhat lower, at 18.2%, but still puts the company hot on Sony's heels.
Meanwhile, the UBS report suggests that some of the other names in digital photography are struggling to keep up. UBS is predicting digital camera prices to fall 15% both this year and next, and expects market volume to flatten out at 84.7 million units shipped worldwide in 2006.
According to the UBS report, three Japanese manufacturers have reported losses in their digital camera divisions recently - Olympus, Pentax and Konica Minolta. Olympus in particular is expecting to lose $173 million at its camera division in the year to March, and currently has a 10% share of the global market. The company once held as much as 23%, and aims to return to a 20% share in three years. Nikon too is apparently expecting its profits to fall despite shifting its product line towards higher-end models, and Fujifilm slashed its units sales forecasts by 18% last month.