Will Nikon be out of business in 5 years?

Started Oct 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jeff
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Re: Will Nikon be out of business in 5 years?
In reply to Jeff_Donald, Oct 29, 2013

Jeff_Donald wrote:

Just something to think about when a company is so "invested" in just one business and not diversified.

Christopher Chute from market intelligence firm IDC predicts Nikon may be out of business in 5 years if the trend continues.

“You’re talking about a 10-15% decline in DSLR shipments all over the world. Which is kind of shocking because that market’s been growing double digits for almost ten years. Nikon recently said they have a five year plan to address this. And my view is, that five year plan should have come out five years ago. They’re not going to be around in five years.”

Let's hope for the industries sake that this is not the case.

Hi Jeff --

A few more quick comments on an interesting article.

Personally, I would frame the issues somewhat differently.  It seems to me what's happening in the camera industry isn't a battle of market segments or manufacturers, but rather a commodification of camera technology.  100's of millions of cameras are now being sold each year as modules that are installed in phones.  The modules cost just a few dollars, yet in good light  deliver a quality image that meeting the most needs of most people.  In that sense, mass market cameras are now a commodity where folks just don't care about brand. It comes down to price and specs, just like buying potatoes.

Another important distinction is that iOS and Android attract third party developers with a published API and a viable business model.

Those things don't exist in the Canikon ecosystem.  The only third party developers that come to party are the lens makers, and even then it's not always clear they are welcomed. And forget about commodification, their whole strategy is based on the exclusiveness. Nikon and Canon are pursuing a smaller and more exclusive market with more and more expensive goods.  In the meanwhile, their are literally billions of potential customers being captured by their competitors.

Now specifically with regard to Nikon, they have the financial, brand, and technical resources to hang in their for a while, perhaps a long while. But I suspect, for the reasons mentioned above, that they do have a walk through the 'valley of death' coming their way over the next 5-10 years.  It'll be interesting to see what Nikon looks like in 5-10 years.  Some companies pull if off (see Apple), others don't (see Kodak).

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