Camera industry in crisis? Thought provoking article.

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
003tvd
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Re: Camera industry in crisis? Thought provoking article.
In reply to TMK1971, 5 months ago

most of us can agree the cellphone has supplanted the need for a camera for many (most?) people. Fifteen or twenty years ago, emerging economies were just getting 35mm and APS film cameras. This was good for the camera, film, & processing equipment manufacturers. More affluent countries were saturated with film, and the R&D expenditures had long ago been recouped. Ship the film-based products to Mexico and Africa and access a new consumer base. Prices can be kept low, thanks to the recycled technology.

More affluent countries make the transition to digital (new monetary stream for manufacturers), less affluent keep buying lower cost film-based products (the old stream is still flowing through to Kodak, Fuji, Canon & Nikon).

Enter the cell phone. Emerging ecomomies lack the hard-wired infrastructure required for conventional phone communications (the land-line, if you will). It's too late to dig up every neighbourhood and city in Guatamala, so, stick a cell tower on a hill. Is it affordable? Yes, thanks to high population density. One tower can serve many at minimal cost. Make the phones and plans affordable (populaton density), and you have the recipe for huge growth in phones, and few who need, or can afford a camera.

End result? No growth for traditional photo industry in emerging markets, and a drying-up of camera purchasers in the once lucrative, wealthier countries. Camera biz disaster on two fronts.

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