March 21, 2006 – Confirming the fears of many manufacturers, InfoTrends reported today that the digital camera market is maturing worldwide. Sales are expected to grow until 2010, but most of the profits will come from developing countries. The digital camera market will peak in North America in 2006, and the same fate soon comes for the Western European market. According to InfoTrends, manufacturers will have to focus on other regions of the world to rake in profits.
"Over the next five years, the digital camera market will present significant challenges and opportunities to vendors," said Ed Lee, director of consumer group and digital photography trends at InfoTrends, in today’s press release. "To succeed in the coming years, manufacturers will need to find a way to manage maturing markets, create a strong brand image in developing countries, and focus on replacement markets."
InfoTrends predicts more of a "vendor shakeout," something that has already been seen with Konica Minolta, Contax, and Kyocera exiting the market. The market research firm also predicts that manufacturers will design cameras specifically for late adopters and repeat buyers.
According to InfoTrends, 55 percent of buyers in 2004 were repeat buyers as compared with 65 percent in 2005. Manufacturers are also targeting these buyers with accessories, printers, and editing software.
Worldwide sales of digital cameras are expected to reach 89 million units in 2006. While this shows a 15 percent increase in sales from 2005, the growth will mostly come from the Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, and Latin America regions. By 2010, the Asia-Pacific market is expected to be the hottest.