Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Numbers: July 2007 shipments from Japan doing very well

Regular readers of the show blog may have noticed that one of the areas of interest of this noisy blog is various market numbers. And we have some more to discuss: The Jyly 2007 shipment news from Japan (JapanCorp.Net) that I read at the Imaging Insider.

The repor(t) comes from CIPA and covers shipments in July 2007. Growth was good in all three major regions with Europe, North America and Asia (sans Japan) growing at least 30% compared to July 2006. In Japan shipments were up 12.8% by volume but just by 1.7% by value ($$$ or Yen in this case). This is of course because of the falling prices across the board which perhaps encourages consumers to buy more or at least more often.

The continuing dropping of prices in DSLRs has the expected effect, sales are increasing but revenues are not increasing by the same percentage. No reason for alarm, this makes perfect sense given that we know what we know (another 1001 noisy master of the obvious derivation). DSLRs grew by 16.3% in terms of value (33m yen) and by 34.5% in terms of units (580,000 units).

Their shiny silver friends (non-DSLR digital cameras) grew by 38.2% in volume (6.45 million shiny silvers) and a surpring 28.7% in value (133.3m yen). This is my speculation: The popularity of the mid-range cameras, both in terms of bijou (sub/ultra-compacts) and superzooms of all sorts perhaps shifted the average camera buying price from the entry-level AA-based shiny-silver to the $300ish trendy bijou or do-it-all superzoom.

And since we have the numbers for both DSLRs and non-DSLRs you can do the math and sum it all up. But if you don't feel like doing that, here is the summary on the whole digital camera market compared to July 2006: Up 34.7% in units (7.28 million) and up 24.4% in value (153.3m yen).

So now let's calculate some DSLR vs shiny silver numbers. The percentage of DSLRs shipped was roughly 8% of all digital camera units, but a whooping 21.5% in terms of value (in yen, dollars, euros, etc).

All these numbers show a very healthy trend for both DSLRs and shiny silvers, both in terms of unit growth and value growth given the continuing trend of falling prices especially among DSLRs (which is a side-effect of their increasing popularity). Even Japan who was supposed to be slowing down, continues on a growth path.

As you may recall from a couple of years the naysayers of the digital camera industry were saying the cameraphones are going to kill digital cameras, and the forecasts were looking at a plateau and even a decrease further down the line. Well, the actual numbers were nowhere near that. Digital cameras continue to grow in most areas and the biggest regions. The cameraphones if anything pushed the camera manufacturers to pack more features at a lower price for their entry-level cameras. Who would have thought that you could get a Canon digital camera with a zoom lens for $105?. Also pushed out of the way were the zoomless cameras (fixed lens) that manufacturers used as their entry-level. And now comes the $80 Kodak C513 with a 3x optical zoom lens, undercutting all other digital cameras with zoom lenses, infact it is undercutting a lot of cameraphones in terms of price :)

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