1. Retail chains in imaging continue to take a knock throughout the world. Ritz cameras of the US was twice rescued from bankruptcy.
Jessops of the UK has been tottering for the last two to three years. Now, yet another chain in the UK, Jacobs, has gone into liquidation.
2. Polaroid is developing a new digital camera that can deliver instant prints. A launch is due later in the year.
3. Italian tripod maker, Manfrotto has launched photography jackets and photo vests for women, called the Lino range.
4. Sony is stepping up its production of sensors with a new plant coming up at Nagasaki in Japan. The sharp increase in demand for smartphones is responsible.
5. As if current problems were not enough, the head of Olympus in Korea was fired for illegal business conduct.
6. Sigma is trying to make its lenses smaller and lighter by replacing polycarbonate with a new material called Thermally Stable Composite. The new material is less sensitive to temperature changes than polycarbonate, claim Sigma.
7. The recently concluded Olympics in London saw a new rule for photographers whereby equipment over 30 cm in length was not allowed unless the photographer held media accredition.
8. The recession seems to have hit Hasselblad hard. The Company has just announced a 23% reduction in its camera prices. “There has never been a better time to buy a Hasselblad”, claims the Company.
9. A little known fact is that Taiwanese manufacturers between them produce over 40 million digital cameras a year. The four major Taiwanese makers continue to be Ability, Altek, Foxconn and Asia Optical. Nikon is the largest buyer followed by Fujifilm, Olympus, Casio, Samsung and Sony in that order. Notable omissions are Canon and Panasonic.
10. In the first half of 2012, Japanese sales of ILCCs/mirrorless cameras showed the following market shares:
Canon with its EOS M hopes to grab an 11% market share.
11. As far as calendar year 2011 is concerned, the world market shares for digital cameras and camcorders were as follows:
12. The flat panel TV sector in 2011 showed the huge domination of the South Korean giants.
13. In Li-ion batteries, the race in 2011 was between Panasonic and Samsung.
14. Finally, Samsung overtook Apple in Smartphone sales in 2011 with Nokia, RIM and HTC following in that order.
H. S. Billimoria