Apple should buy Nikon's consumer/prosumer DSLR business

Started Sep 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
ApertureAcolyte
Contributing MemberPosts: 875Gear list
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No. We don't need a patent war in Camera technology.
In reply to HowardChernin, Sep 16, 2013

HowardChernin wrote:

A few reasons:

1) iPhone has introduced millions of customers to creative photography and post-processing, which is fabulous in and of itself. iPhone dominates the low-end/consumer markets, and the quality of the sensor, lens, DSP and software keep improving with every iteration. Nikon's deep pool of talent and experience in the fields of optics and sensor design would lend themselves to iPhone development.

2) Apple lacks a higher end product for photography enthusiasts, prosumers, and professionals who desire, among other things, more flexibility, more features, better AF, better image quality, etc. If you want a higher end camera, you can't buy one from Apple. Instead, your money ends up going to a company such as Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, or one of the many other competitors in the traditional camera market. It could instead be going to Apple.

3) Interchangeable lens system cameras remain a lucrative market for companies like Canon and Nikon. How many of us have bought a low-end consumer DSLR with kit lens, and thought "OK, I just need a nifty 50 and that'll complete my kit" only to buy additional gear because it's there, and we think it will make us better photographers? New lenses, external flashes, battery packs, these things all add up and provide additional revenue beyond the initial sale. Apple is no stranger to creating an ecosystem around a central product.

4) ILC purchasers often stay loyal to their brand for many years, if not a lifetime. You end up building a whole kit of equipment, including bodies, lenses, flashes, etc., all of which only natively work with your one brand. That kind of loyalty is similar to the loyalty associated with owners of Apple products.

5) Apple needs to maintain a strong presence in the high end photography/cinematography business in order to keep attracting customers to its higher end computing products (such as Mac Pro, Aperture, Final Cut X). Purchasing an established, respected brand with fierce customer loyalty and a tradition of excellence would reaffirm the synergy between Apple's products and these two critical markets.

6) Apple has the clarity of vision and the raw engineering talent to pull Nikon way ahead of the pack. Just off the top of my head, imagine if you combined Nikon sensors and optics with a retina touch display, Apple level build quality, quality control, and economy of scale, an Apple designed on-screen UI (hell, put iOS on there and allow use of Apps), AirPlay, and Thunderbolt. You'd have a camera that would be leagues ahead of anything else on the market, at a price that likely nobody else could match when looking at features.

7) Apple knows how to market way better than Nikon does. As much as we all love Ashton... Nikon has only had mixed success at marketing its 1 series to the masses as a lifestyle brand, and doesn't seem to be able to express why it is better than the competition in clear language.

I'm not saying Nikon needs Apple (though these days, the way the camera market is going, Nikon could probably use Apple's cash and engineering resources). But, Apple might do well by Nikon by bringing it under Apple's wing. Apple loves creating products that inspire, and having a high end imagining line to call its own would be a logical extension of the path that Apple has been taking for the past 10 years.

Your thoughts?

Is this a sick joke?

1) By post processing you really mean horribly clichéd filter effects for the hipsters?  These people are not interested in post processing when every single photo is a sepia toned vignette. Conclusion: Disqualified argument.

2 & 3) Apple doesn't have the clientele you speak of. Apple's market share are for people who want simple choices, simple GUI's and streamlined products. ILC cameras are not simple products no matter what you do there is always in depth knowledge required for lens selection etc. Conclusion: Disqualified argument.

4) I don't understand what point you are making with this observation

5) This just doesn't make any sense that Apple need a camera to sell computer hardware & software. Such an idea is downright ridiculous.

6) Contentious. I think Apple's "engineering talent" is overhyped.

7) Apple knows how to Market mass market products to people. You are asking them to market niche stuff to the mainstream... not so great an idea to be honest.  Steve Jobs saved the company from doom; because he cut out ALL of their nichey stuff. You are suggesting Apple get involved with a niche market and try to convert it into the mainstream... its not a very good idea.

The Nikon 1 example.... is honestly appalling. It's not the marketing that's a failure, it's the product itself. Remind me which failure of a product apple has successfully marketed?

The other issue is that Apple is an anti-competitive company that prefers lawsuits to innovation. I don't want them in the camera market because it could spell release injunctions on other camera makers given Apple's general douchebaggery.

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