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April 12, 2005– The Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA) released its monthly manufacturing statistics, revealing that Japanese digital camera exports have fallen for the first time since the organization began collecting data. February’s exports have only fallen by 0.9 percent, but that’s enough to alarm the industry of its slowing growth.
After several years of fast growth, the digital camera industry is finally slowing down. More than 50 percent of Japanese households own a digital camera. The United States and Europe are following closely behind. All eyes are on the Japanese export numbers because Japanese manufacturers make almost 80 percent of digital cameras shipped throughout the world.
Japan exported 3.29 million units of its manufactured 3.86 million units in February. According to the CIPA report, the sweet spot for megapixels is currently between 4 and 6. Digital cameras in this category account for 66 percent of exported digital cameras. Digital SLRs are the next trend in the industry, with exports at 20 percent in February.