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The following is an unedited press release, shown as received from the company represented. We've elected to present selected releases without editorial comment, as a way to provide our readers more information without further overtaxing our limited editorial resources. To avoid any possible confusion or conflict of interest, the Imaging Resource will always clearly distinguish between company-provided press releases and our own editorial views and content.

PRESS RELEASE: Digital Camera Shipments Flying High as Market Value Dips in Central and Eastern Europe, Says IDC


Prague, April 3, 2007 - Digital cameras again proved to be one of the hottest selling items last year in Central and Eastern Europe. According to recently released IDC data, shipments shot up by nearly 23% to almost 7 million units in 2006 and are set to exhibit solid growth again this year. By contrast, technology advances and competition have pushed prices to new lows, and factory revenue actually contracted by almost 4% last year to $1.65 billion.

"It is hard to underestimate the importance of falling prices pressure on market revenue and the availability of technology across the region," says Nickolay Grigorov, Senior Analyst, IDC CEMA. "Shipments more than doubled in the bottom three price categories last year as 6MP cameras replaced 5MP as the resolution of choice."

The downward pressure on prices is most obvious in Russia, the region's largest and one of the fastest growing market in terms of shipments. Accounting for half of shipments and just under half of revenue, the Russian market saw cameras fly off the shelves as unit shipments soared by more than 30%. Nevertheless, revenue fell by more than 8% in U.S. dollars (and more than 10% in euro terms) as competition intensified in the second half of the year, sending prices down and consumers to the stores. Neighboring Ukraine was the fastest growing market, with unit shipments soaring by nearly 70% in 2006.

Things were less dramatic in other country markets. For instance, the Polish market grew a substantial 15% in shipments but only 3.8% in revenue (2.2% in euro terms) and the Hungarian market expanded by 18% in shipments while revenues were flat (-1.5% in euro terms). Unit shipments in the Czech Republic grew a more modest 7.7% while revenue was up only 2% (and flat in euro terms).

On the vendor scene, Canon shipped more digital cameras than any other manufacturer in the region in 2006. Sony managed to grab second place, edging out Olympus, which fell to third position compared to the previous year. Together, these three vendors accounted for 55% of shipments and 58% of revenue in Central and Eastern Europe in 2006.

"The Czech Republic is already showing signs of maturity and represents the future of the region in terms of penetration," says Grigorov. "But right now it is the exception, as the region is still set for continued growth in shipments over the next several years."

IDC's Central and Eastern European Quarterly Digital Camera Tracker delivers timely quarterly data for the digital camera market by sub-region and country, breaking down countries by price segment, zoom, channel, type, and resolution. It includes in-depth data that reveals the technologies affecting future designs, shipment dynamics, and vendor strategies. The tracker delivers insight that helps vendors identify opportunities, position their products and brands, and anticipate future changes in the market.

For more information about IDC research on the digital camera markets, please contact Nickolay Grigorov (ngrigorov@idc.com; +420 221 423 140) or Tatiana Hinova (thinova@idc.com; at +420 221 423 140).

About IDC

IDC Provides Global Research with Local Content
IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 900 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 90 countries. For more than 43 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives.

IDC CEMA
To cover Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa, IDC employs 120+ analysts in a coordinated network of offices in 19 countries, with regional research centers in Prague, Moscow, Dubai, and Istanbul. Customers include a wide range of ICT hardware, software, and services suppliers, governments, and members of the financial community.

IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. Additional information can be found at www.idc.com.

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(First posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 14:55 EDT)

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