Poor digital camera sales continue....

Started Jun 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Abrak
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Poor digital camera sales continue....
Jun 5, 2013

CIPA numbers are out for April and although shipments showed an improvement on March, they were down year on year (yoy) in all categories. The weakened yen doesnt really seemed to have helped matters with shipments down in all categories in terms of both units and yen value.

April (yoy)

Compacts  -44.1% (units) -41.6% (value)

DSLRs -2.7% (units) -5.1% (value)

Mirrorless -4.4% (units) -9.5% (value)

Total -37.8% (units) -26.1% (value)

The reason that for the digital camera market total value has fallen far less than unit volume, is not the yen, but because higher priced units (DSLRs + mirrorless) have fallen less sharply than compacts.

Really this is just a continuation of the trends of the last few months. Year to date shipments are down in unit terms (yoy) -46.6% compacts, -17.9% DSLRs, -14.8% mirrorless. It is perhaps important to see these numbers in context - namely against forecasts. CIPA issued its forecasts in February of this year. They forecast that compact sales would fall -17.6% but that both DSLRs (+10%) and mirrorless (+22%) would continue to grow. These forecasts are of some significance because the camera manufacturers tend to base their own forecasts on CIPAs (Panasonic even included them in their results presentation). So we saw comments from Olympus. Panasonic, Nikon and Canon all expecting ILC growth during their recent results presentations and forecasts.

We can see roughly how far behind expectations, shipments year to date, actually are...

Compacts -46.6% (YTD) -17.6% (forecast) -35% (below expectations)

DSLRs -17.9% (YTD) +10% (forecast) -25% (below expectations)

Mirrorless -14.8% (YTD) +22% (forecast) -30% (below expectations)

Note that while 'we all know' that compact sales are really bad, they are still running 35% below industry forecasts, so we are still going to be told about the 'unexpectedly sharp decrease in compact sales'. And to say put 'mirrorless' sales in context - for the first 4 months of the year less than 1 million units have been shipped (actual 859k), while CIPA's forecast for the full year is 4.9m units, so even if the year to date running rate of shipments 'doubled' for the remains of the year, sales would still fall short of forecast.

The outlook for May and June comparisons is not good for 2 reasons. First these were 2 of the strongest shipment months last year so yoy comparisons are not likely to look healthy. Secondly if we were to look at April 'production' numbers as a precursor for May 'shipment' numbers then for instance April 13 production for ILCs was 1.3m and May 2012 shipments were 1.7m.

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