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*October 5, 2005 - *Olympus, which currently holds 15% of the Malaysian DSLR market, expects the introduction of the E-500 in November to boost their market share up to 30% by 2006, according an announcement made by Olympus (Malaysia) managing director Tan Tick Boon today. Tan added that DSLR sales in Malaysia averaged 1,000 units a month, with Olympus averaging 200, thanks to the E-300. Tan projected monthly sales of Olympus DSLRs to rise to approximately 600 after the E-500 hits the market, meaning that the E-500 is expected to sell to between 4,000 to 5,000 consumers by November of next year.
The EVOLT E-500, announced in the US on September 26, is the lightest DSLR currently on the market at 15.3 oz., and Tan hopes that the user-friendly portability will give Olympus an edge in appealing to entry level consumers. Growth of digital SLR sales in Malaysia is expected to double next year to 24,000, and Olympus clearly wants a piece of it.
Depending on which kit lens Malaysian users purchase with the E-500 body, the package is selling for 3,399 MYR or 2,999 MYR, equal to $900 and $795 respectively. This is exactly the cost of the two available US packages, although the more expensive US package includes two lenses rather than one. The available lenses in Malaysia are a 14mm-45mm lens or a 17.5mm-45mm lens.
Olympus is currently third behind Canon and Nikon in DSLR sales in Malaysia.