Nikon's 5 year plan...

Started Oct 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
bobn2
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Re: Nikon's 5 year plan...
In reply to stevo23, Oct 23, 2013

stevo23 wrote:

OK guys, you read what the moderator said. Maybe we can re-boot this yet again and stay civil.

Thoughts of Nikon's demise could bring many emotions, but it's just a camera. If they were to go away in 5 years (not likely), there are other toys to play with.

Here's the article:

business.financialpost.com/2013/10/05/point-shoot-collapse-why-big-camera-companies-are-the-next-blackberry/?__lsa=de50-bc6b

Here's what I think is wrong with the article (not much right actually):

1) Most technology writers try to understand what they write about. This one doesn't quite get Nikon and Canon or any other camera maker or why any of the past ones went out of business. I don't know anything about him personally, but in this case, he seems to be missing something.

2) Quoting numbers can be scary, but I like Thom Hogan's more balanced approach. He actually knows what they mean and where they come from. He's being honest and straight with the facts and not skewing it for his purposes.

3) Tunnel vision is a sure sign that you're not getting an informative article. This writer focuses on Nikon and Canon, but the forces he describes and uses to predict doom are hitting all camera makers. One could actually say the Nikon and Canon, with cash in hand, are in a stronger position than the rest.

If you dig deeper, you'll realize this is not really an smart article at all. It's a simple regurgitation of facts that have been floating around for some time now. It's really just about the pain the smartphone market is causing the camera makers. It should say "all camera makers". But it doesn't. It chooses to focus on the big two.

With respect to Nikon, I don't expect Nikon to disappear. For a number of reasons:

i) Nikon is an important part of the Mitsubishi group. I use the word 'group' rather then 'kieretsu' advisedly. Mitsubishi seems to see it as a part, see here:

http://www.mitsubishi.com/php/users/category_result_industry.php?gyousyu_id=0015&lang=1

This puts it is a significantly different position with respect to companies such a Nokia or Kodak. Simply, Nikon won't go bust, and isn't likely to get taken over by an outside concern (they would have to negotiate with Mitsubishi first). Note also what Mitsubishi says Nikon's business is:

http://www.mitsubishi.com/php/users/category_result_info.php?lang=1&click_id=07&company_id=00000004

It's quite likely that if Nikon was losing money badly, it might get restructured significantly (which would have to be by agreement with Nikon's shareholders, but since one way or another Mitsubishi controls a majority stake that would be forthcoming)

ii) Nikon's semiconductor equipment is of strategic importance to Japan - that is, the Japanese government would not be prepared to let ASML gain control of the market, thus whatever the global market does, that business will survive.

So, the chances survival of Nikon surviving as a company are pretty high. I can imagine that the photographic range might retreat to just the top end/pro models over time, and without the margin contribution from the amateur models, those will be relatively much more expensive than now (think low volume cinema cameras from the likes of Red)

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Bob

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