The pressures on the digital camera segment are relentless and it seems that many stalwart manufacturers are finally beginning to break under the strain in what is one of the optical industry’s most competitive niches.
Japanese multinational consumer electronics and commercial electronics manufacturing company Casio is expected to announce its exit from the compact camera business according to Nikkei in yet another sign of the times.
“Casio Computer has decided to withdraw from its unprofitable compact digital camera by 24th. The number of compact digital camera shipments has declined sharply and it seems that it was judged that future market expansion cannot be expected. In the future, we plan to specialize in high value-added camera products. The digital camera business posted a loss of 500 million yen in the fiscal year ended March 2017.”
This is quite the reversal of fortune for a company that made tons of money hawking a selfie camera back in 2015 for $USD 1000.
Digital cameras have faced stiff competition from smartphones which are increasingly boasting more and more powerful pieces of kit underneath their aluminum and plastic sheaths. Not only is the tech outpacing some of the lower-end devices, but also the connectivity smartphones enjoy with multiple devices including the Internet makes them ideal for social media platforms like Instagram.
It’s sad that, while photography seems to be enjoying a consumer renaissance, compact digital cameras have lost their place in this upswing. Casio actually reported its first losses in the digital camera segment in April 2017 and it appears prospects have not improved since that news.
This announcement doesn’t impact Casio’s other models, only its compact camera units. Given current trends in the digital camera segment, we can likely expect more such announcements from other manufacturers in the future.