The popular consensus about the decline of camera sales over the past decade is that the rise of smartphones is largely to blame.
But what if it was the intense competition within the camera industry itself that helped accelerate this decline?
That’s the thesis behind a recent Nikkei report and it has a lot of people in the industry talking about how much truth there is to that thesis.
Don’t get it wrong – the report names all of the usual suspects such as smartphones and even the COVID-19 pandemic – yet its assertion that the competition between camera brands is too intense to sustain the industry and, indeed, might even lead to its demise is too salacious and interesting to ignore.
Deputy Editor of the Nikkei Asian Review Masamichi Hoshi wrote, “The market for digital cameras peaked at about 121 million units on a shipment basis in 2010, according to [CIPA]. In 2019, the figure was about 15 million. The contraction is accelerating because of the coronavirus, with only 2.63 million shipments during the first four months of this year, down 44% from the same period last year.”
“Smartphones are not the only reason Japanese camera makers … have come to this point. Japanese industry, which has a penchant for competing against its own products, can also blame itself. …This kind of excessive competition is great for consumers, giving them a wider variety and lower prices. But it also reduces manufacturers’ investment capacity. The impact of Olympus’ decision to quit the camera business and discard 84 years’ worth of experience, may spread,” he continued.
You can read the article here.
What do you think of the Nikkei report’s conclusion that intense competition in the camera industry is helping to drive its woes? Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section below if you like.
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