According to a report on AsiaBizTech shipments of digital cameras are expected to reach 12 million units worldwide in fiscal year 2000, double the volume from the previous year. Shipments could balloon to 20 million units in 2001. Sony, Olympus and Fujifilm own a combined 80% share of the global digital camera market.

Full report:

Digital Camera Shipments Projected to Double in FY2000

December 12, 2000 (TOKYO) -- Shipments of digital cameras by 19 Japanese manufacturers are expected to reach 12 million units worldwide in fiscal 2000, double the volume from the previous year, when they soared 80 percent, according to industry sources.

"Demand continues growing exponentially in Japan, the U.S. and Europe", said a Sony Corp. official.

With manufacturers trying to raise output, shipments could balloon to 20 million units in fiscal 2001. Japanese makers of digital cameras, including Sony, Olympus Optical Co. and Fuji Photo Film Co., hold a combined 80% share of the global market.

Sony and Olympus, each of which has a 25% share of the global market, plan to ship 5 million digital cameras apiece in fiscal 2001, double the estimates for the current fiscal year.

Third-ranked Fuji Photo, which holds a 20% market share, will raise shipments in fiscal 2001 by 70% to 4.8 million units. Canon Inc. plans to triple shipments to 3 million cameras, while Chinon Industries Inc., which is affiliated with Eastman Kodak Co., will raise shipments by 50% to 2 million units. Nikon Corp. aims to boost shipments by 70% to 1.2 million.

Some manufacturers are making efforts to expand their marketing channels. Sharp Corp. has agreed to supply around 100,000 digital cameras a month to Eastman Kodak on an OEM basis.

In line with expanding shipments, demand for related parts is also expected to balloon. Sony plans to raise its output of charge-coupled devices next spring at a cost of 10 billion yen. In addition, major semiconductor manufacturers are planning to increase production of flash memories amid the digital camera boom in Japan.

In contrast, shipments of cameras that use film are leveling off, standing at around 34 million in 1999, with digital camera shipments catching up fast.

(The Nihon Keizai Shimbun)