The last fiscal year has been a spectacular one for somea brands which have consolidated their lead, while the others are struggling to mantain their position. We undertake a snapshot of the changing market scenario worldwide.
By H. S. Billimoria
The digital camera market has been seeing a lot of action in fiscal 2010/11 with some brands consolidating and shooting ahead and others lagging behind.
2010/11 has been spectacular for Canon digital cameras. Canon has already revised its sales forecast upwards for the third time this year. Canon expects to ship 26.7 million cameras this year, up 11% year on year. It will have further increased its lead over Sony, the No: 2 player. Largely responsible for the increased sales are the EOS 550D and the EOS 60D, both of which have seen brisk sales.
Sony’s forecast for the year is flat at 23 million units. The Company has however taken a huge gamble by launching its new line of NEX Micro system cameras (or ILCCs) with a brand new mount. The NEX series has reported good initial sales in Japan but is yet to set the world on fire.
Creeping closer to Sony every year is Nikon. Nikon has revised its sales forecast upwards to 18.25 million, thus firmly cementing its Number Three position. Amazingly, the boost comes not from DSLRs, but from compact cameras which have seen sales soar in the United States, China and India. Nikon’s strong brand image in emerging economies makes it a very strong aspirational brand.
The number four position is taken by Panasonic with a sales forecast of 13 million units (excluding Sanyo). Panasonic’s year on year sales are expected to be up by 26%. Panasonic is, however, still weak in emerging markets like India.
Fujifilm has made a strong comeback in 2010/11 with estimated sales at 12 million. Aggressive pricing and focusing on low end models has helped Fujifi lm to occupy the Number Five position.
Olympus, Casio and Pentax, in that order, make up the rear. Olympus has cut its sales forecast from 12 million to 9 million. Sluggish sales in Europe and the US are responsible for Olympus’ woes.
Casio, is very much like Sharp, another Japanese consumer electronics company. Both are very strong in Japan, but weak elsewhere. Pentax has seen a resurgence in DSLR sales. However, under new owner Hoya, emphasis is more on profi tability, than on sales alone.
Figures for Samsung and Kodak remain undisclosed. However, it is estimated that Samsung would be vying for the fourth or fifth position and Kodak would be on par with Olympus.