More doomsday predictions about Olympus, despite growing sales figures
posted Friday, January 3, 2014 at 10:34 AM EDT
We recently reported about predictions made by a Credit Suisse analyst who claimed that in the ever-changing landscape of the photo industry, only the major players -- i.e. Canon, Nikon and Sony -- would be able to make a lasting stand. Now, the next doomsday prediction comes in, and this time from the people over at 24/7 Wall St. In their list of ten brands that will vanish in 2014, Olympus is mentioned for much the same reasons again: declining sales due to the strong competition by camera-equipped smartphones.
To someone who follows the daily developments in the photo industry, these predictions come as somewhat of a surprise, though. It is true that smartphones have been heavily cutting into the sales of compact cameras, which is why several manufacturers recently decided to cut down their compact camera portfolios -- Olympus being one of them. And it is also true that Olympus' revenue had gone down after the financial scandal that shook the company to its core, which, by the way, neither report seems to acknowledge as a reason for the company's losses.
But here are a couple of reasons why we think Olympus isn't going to disappear from the camera market. For one, the company just recently presented a prognosis for the upcoming fiscal year, which claimed that for the first time since the accounting scandal their camera business will be making profits again. How can that be if Olympus is allegedly going downhill so badly? Also, have the analysts proclaiming the company's demise noticed that the OM-D E-M1 is currently the best-selling mirrorless camera on Amazon.com?
And finally, here are the latest sales figures from Japan: Micro Four Thirds cameras are doing exceptionally well in the mirrorless camera sector, outdoing all APS-C models counted together, and Olympus has the highest overall sales percentage of all manufacturers of mirrorless cameras. Additionally, interchangeable lens camera sales are rising in Japan, and DSLRs and mirrorless cameras together now make up about 30% of overall camera sales in the country.
We admit that the face of the photo industry is changing, and quite possibly not all current players will remain in the game throughout the next year. But looking at the figures, it doesn't seem to us as though Olympus is facing any imminent danger. If anything, it appears as if the company's camera business is doing well and finally on the up again.