From the Olympus Website--A little better translation than DPReview

Started Feb 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
Craig from Nevada
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Re: Cost accounting and reality.
In reply to John King, Feb 17, 2013

John King wrote:


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Craig, there is an awful lot of crystal ball gazing in your analysis ...

Firstly, Olympus has a considerable success on their hands with the OM-D. Quite a number of people I know here with FF cameras are buying the OM-D ... They are more than pleasantly surprised at the IQ that this camera produces ...
Like very surprised!
Like maybe even: "Why am I lugging 10+ kgs of camera gear around " surprised ...

Secondly, one does not steer the ship by looking over the stern ...

Thirdly, Olympus realises both of the above, and are taking the (right) steps to address both the current problems and the issues arising therefrom. They also make most of their money from medical imaging, so have this to fall back on if determined to continue. Compare this with (say) Nikon, where they are all but totally reliant on their camera business ...

Not one of us can predict the future of Olympus, or any other company.
IBM nearly went broke because of their attempt to introduce a proprietary bus structure into PCs (anyone remember the PS/2 bus ?) and followed it up with the disastrous "Windows killer" OS, OS2 ...

At the time, IBM was the largest company in the world, IIRC ...

John:

Good morning from northern Nevada.  I agree there is a lot of crystal ball thinking in my discussion (it does not rise to the level of analysis).

The OMD is a mystery to me.  It is a critical success.  It has sold.  As I noted above, I don't know if it is profitable at this point.  At the time it was announced, I was astonished at its price point. Heck of a deal.  Compare it to GH3--$200 more on the price and not near OMD.  A lot of the profitability lies in the capacity of Olympus to sell lenses to go with the camera.  As someone looking at this from the outside, I was surprised that they have had a good year with OMD and losses doubled anyway.

Yes, the OMD is lighter, but the phone camera is lighter still and serves multiple functions. The camera as a free-standing device is still heavier than the phone with the camera and you can't text or call home.

The point you make about steering the ship from behind is spot on.  Specifically,the numbers that matter are those for next year.  They erred tremendously in their projections for the imaging division losses.  So did a lot of the traditional manufacturers.  There are a couple of things here--the number of units and the price they get for each unit.   On a forward-looking basis, there is some recognition that the camera market is changing.  The releases by Olympus cited above recognize this.

Olympus doesn't have an accounting problem, it has an economic problem--where the market is going.  The accounting problem only show me the outcome of this year's sales.  They don't tell me where the market is going.

As we have seen in the airline industry, there were too many seats chasing too few passengers. We have too many cameras and mounts chasing too few buyers in a world where people seem to prefer the integrated camera phone thing.

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