*May 4, 2006 – *Market research firm IDC peered into its crystal ball and announced that the digital camera market "will continue to mature across the world as emerging markets experience strong growth curves and older markets begin to decline." Yesterday’s press release acknowledged that worldwide shipments for cameras grew in 2005 and will peak in 2006. The market research firm also touched on the shake-out among manufacturers that sank Kyocera, Contax, and Konica-Minolta.
"As the digital still camera market heads into the end of its growth curve, certain metrics will become more standardized around the world," said Christopher Chute, senior analyst for IDC’s Digital Imaging Solutions and Services, in the release. IDC predicts that several more vendors will discontinue operations by the end of 2007. The shake-out among manufacturers has already sunk a few companies. Some manufacturers are cutting costs by eliminating their film and film camera divisions. Kodak has certainly cut back on production of its film and Nikon stopped manufacturing many of its film cameras.
IDC’s report concluded that the demand for digital cameras will plateau and predicts 111 million units to ship in 2008. According to the release, though, "a slowdown is on the horizon." IDC predicts that Asia and other parts of the world will consume 40 percent of worldwide shipments of digital cameras in 2010.