Digicam market to peak by 2007?|
(Friday, April 29, 2005 - 15:24 EDT)
A report from research company IDC says that the digital camera market will peak next year with shipments of some 94 million units - and then begin shrinking.
According to CNet News.com, the report further predicts that by 2009, shipments will have fallen some 13% from 2006 levels, to just 82 million units. At the same time, average digicam prices will continue to plunge from last year's $340 per camera, through $295 by the end of this year, and as low as $200 by 2009.
The problem? According to IDC, manufacturers have failed to focus on capturing the unmet market, instead becoming obsessed with features. Products such as camera phones and other combination devices are filling that gap, says IDC - and by 2009 the market once dominated by film will have fragmented into a diverse range of products with which photos will be captured.
IDC predicts that camera manufacturers will begin to re-evaluate their roles in the digicam market over the next 18 months - something which, if the company's report holds true, could see another wave of companies leaving the industry.
Of course, many of these predictions are based at least in part on rapidly growing figures for products such as camera phones - but are those products actually being used? Something we've heard time and again in past months is that camera phone sales are increasingly so dramatically only because it is becoming difficult to buy a phone that *doesn't* include a camera - and that many consumers simply don't need or use these cameras to any degree. Only time is going to definitively answer the question.