Framingham, MAâ€" Shipments of digital cameras in the U.S. increased 17 percent in the second quarter of 2006, with growth attributed to gift giving for graduating students and Father's Day, according to a new report by IDC.
The study, â€œU.S. Digital Camera Market Share Review,â€? notes that approximately 6.3 million units were shipped in the quarter. And, among the camera makers, Canon Inc. is said to retain its No. 1 ranking in market share.
In essence, despite the seasonal spike in sales, the report points to maturation in the digital still camera market, with growth flat in Japan and â€œslowing in the United States as the excitement over cameras wanes and more consumers buy mobile phones with built-in picture-taking capabilities.â€?
IDC projects that U.S. shipments are expected to grow only 8 to 10 percent this year, compared to the 21 percent increase in 2005 and 60 percent improvement in 2003.
In regard to the market leaders, the Framingham, Massachusetts-based research firm reports that Canon--which recently posted a 33 percent increase in operating profit year over year with robust digital camera sales--remains the segment leader for the second consecutive quarter, with 22 percent. Sony Corp. follows with a 16 percent share; and Eastman Kodak, who dropped from first to third place last quarter, retains that position with 15 percent.
IDC analyst Christopher Chute noted that Kodakâ€™s market share slump comes from a planned reduction in sales of low-end cameras, typically costing less than $100, where they hoped to earn profits from follow-up sales of printer paper and supplies. The company, he said, will focus on pricier, more profitable models.
â€œThey have pulled back from the proliferation strategy where they seed the market with cameras and look for profits on the back end,â€? Chute said. â€œThey have to start looking for profits on the front end.â€?