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January 28, 2005 – Several digital camera manufacturers have announced their projections for 2005; some look optimistic and others expect declines in sales. Canon and Sony were tied for the top spot in the digital camera market in 2004, but Canon plans to pull to the front this coming year. Canon sold 14 million cameras in 2004, but projects that to rise 20 percent to 16.8 million units.
Canon is expecting big sales from its digital SLR line, including the highly successful Canon EOS Rebel and the newly released Canon EOS 20D. The company forecasts it will sell 1.8 million digital SLR cameras in 2005. Some analysts think Canon is being a bit too optimistic because of market saturation and dropping prices in the digital camera market. Last year, prices dropped an average of 15 percent and are expected to drop another 10 percent this year.
Because of the market saturation and stiff competition, companies such as Sony and Sanyo are stepping back and lowering their 2005 sales projections of digital cameras. Sony had previously forecasted 15 million, but lowered that to 14 million earlier this week. Sony sold 10 million cameras in 2004. Sanyo, who produced 11 million digital cameras last year, had estimated 14 million, but dropped it to 12 million.
More than 90 percent of Sanyo’s digital cameras are supplied to clients such as Nikon and Olympus for sales under their own brand names. Sanyo had previously forecasted 18 million units for 2005, but lowered that projection to 14 million in October after reports of overstocked inventories at clients’ warehouses.