Olympus Not Going To Be Around in 2014?

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
ecxs
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Olympus Not Going To Be Around in 2014?
7 months ago

I would hate for this to be true but if this article is to be believed, Olympus may not be around sometime next year...

http://247wallst.com/special-report/2013/05/23/ten-brands-that-will-disappear-in-2014/3/

Here's what it says about Olympus..

"6. Olympus

Except for market leaders like Canon, Sony and Nikon, no one wants to be in the digital camera business anymore. Worldwide unit sales are down 18% in 2012 since their peak in 2010 and are accelerating this year. It is no surprise then that Olympus, which only has 7% market share, has failed to generate a profit from its imaging business in any of the past three years. The decline caught the company’s management off guard. Actual sales were less than two-thirds of forecasts.

For the next fiscal year, the outlook is grim. Olympus expects compact camera unit sales to fall from 5.1 million to 2.7 million units worldwide. But these declines are hardly a new trend. A major reason for declining sales has been the increased adoption of smartphones — which now offer lenses and chips that capture high-quality images — as an alternative to digital cameras. Based on increased interest in high-end cameras, the company plans to focus on increasing sales of SLR cameras, which accounted for just 35% of its imaging business. Meanwhile, sales of its largest camera segment, compact cameras, will be cut in half. Of concern to investors, the company has pledged to stop issuing dividends until the camera business is restored to profitability."

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Acrill
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Re: Olympus Not Going To Be Around in 2014?
In reply to ecxs, 7 months ago

This is nothing new..

All camera companies are cutting back on sales of compact cameras, and focusing on higher-end models.

I don't think that pursuing this strategy means Olympus cameras will disappear.

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broody
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Re: Olympus Not Going To Be Around in 2014?
In reply to ecxs, 7 months ago

I saw that article a while ago, and it's just a bunch of poorly-researched, ignorant sensasionalism. Compacts aren't doing so well, but they are not Olympus' main business, and Oly is not going to go down if (part of) its camera division fails.

Furthermore, things are not looking so grim anymore. Mirrorless sales are rising again whereas compacts have steadied and are not dropping anymore, and Oly has forged a partnership with Sony to see them through tough times.

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drj3
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Re: Olympus Not Going To Be Around in 2014?
In reply to ecxs, 7 months ago

If I remember correctly, a similar story last year said they would not be around this year.  Probably not going to close the camera business anytime soon since they just brought out the E-M1 and the new 12-40 lens which appear to be doing well and they currently plan on introducing a new OMD in the spring.  They as well as most camera companies will need to adjust to changing trends more quickly, but I would be surprised if they shut down the camera operations any time soon.  The company as a whole is now making a profit.  I don't tend to believe much reported by the news media anymore.  Too much interest in dramatic headlines and always predicting the worst.  Not many people would be interested if the news was things going well.

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Jennnifer
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Re: Olympus Not Going To Be Around in 2014?
In reply to broody, 7 months ago

"Olympus joins Canon Inc. (7751), the world’s largest camera maker, in projecting shrinking demand for compact models. Increased sales of higher-end mirrorless digital cameras will make up for the earnings shortfall from compact ones, helping the camera division at Olympus break even this fiscal year, [CEO] Sasa said.

“The bottom line is that we can’t make profit from compact cameras,” Sasa, 57, said in the interview at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo. “We’ll focus on selling mirrorless models and lenses.”

The camera division will break even in the 12 months through March, ending three years of losses by saving 23 billion yen ($224 million) from steps including job cuts and factory reorganization, Olympus predicted this month."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-21/olympus-compact-camera-sales-to-extend-drop-next-year-ceo-says.html

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JeanPierre Martel
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Re: Olympus Not Going To Be Around in 2014?
In reply to ecxs, 7 months ago

As long as Olympus can't make enough OM-D e-m1 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm lens to feed the demand and as long as the sales of reflex cameras drop 25% a year, I would be more afraid that Canon and Nikon would share the fate of dinosaures, Kodak, and software leaders like WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3.

Compact cameras are doomed: they will be replaced at the bottom end by intelligent phones and the high-end by ILCs.

Reflex cameras are doomed. They will be replaced by ILCs: m4/3, Sony Nex, Samsung NX, Sony A7, etc.

We are the witnesses of a photographic revolution, as important as the one when reflex cameras replaced rangefinders. Now its ILCs, the underdogs, that will win over big companies, unable to adapt themselves to a new world.

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ecxs
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Re: Olympus Not Going To Be Around in 2014?
In reply to JeanPierre Martel, 7 months ago

Couldn't agree with you more...  the article should change the heading to "Olympus compact cameras" instead of Olympus the brand.

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Henry Richardson
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A look at past predictions about m4/3
In reply to ecxs, 7 months ago

Time will tell.

6 months away from Canon squishing Olympus?

In July 2012 this was the prediction:

Canon will probably have squished Oly in 2 years

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/42118702

"So I'm betting that in less than 2 years Canon will have squished Oly in mirrorless just as they did in DSLRs. The more so because they'll likely will have released some nice lenses, and at least one enthusiast body."

A few days ago Canon came out with their EOS M2 (but not to be sold in North America or Europe). The original EOS M came out in July 2012.

My question is:

Are we only 6 months away from Canon squishing Olympus in mirrorless?

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smithling
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Re: Olympus Not Going To Be Around in 2014?
In reply to ecxs, 7 months ago

This guy, Doulglas A. McIntyre, was 0 out of 10 in predicting "Ten Brands That Will Die in 2013". Bet against him.

http://247wallst.com/special-report/2012/06/21/247-wall-st-10-brands-that-will-disappear-in-2013/

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j.m.young
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Re: Olympus Not Going To Be Around in 2014?
In reply to drj3, 7 months ago

drj3 wrote:

I don't tend to believe much reported by the news media anymore.

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drj3

That was an opinion piece by "Douglas A. McIntyrenot" not anything reported by the news media as news.

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KwhyChang
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Re: Olympus Not Going To Be Around in 2014?
In reply to ecxs, 7 months ago

I wouldn't worry. There's not really much competition for them in their medical devices division, which is where almost all of their profit comes from.

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Dave

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morepix
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But don't toll the funeral bell for Panalympus
In reply to ecxs, 7 months ago

Reads like some kind of extinct bird, come to think of it 

I see consolidation as a possible (likely?) outcome, some kind of consolidation between the camera divisions of Olympus and Panasonic. Look:

  • Olympus just released a compact camera (the Stylus 1) with an eye-level viewfinder built in (PENs have not had that and neither have the XZs), while Panny has introduced the LF1 and the rangefinder-style GX7, both with built-in EVFs.
  • Panasonic recently released a M43 camera (the GX7) with in-body stabilization.

A little closer, a little closer ... and Panalympus is born. Or is it Olysonic (not the laundry detergent, mind you.)

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sean000
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Re: 247wallst.com not going to be around in 2014?
In reply to ecxs, 7 months ago

Look at the other headlines on 247wallst.com. I'm not sure I would trust much of what I read there. They appear to be a group a of business bloggers who sell attention-grabbing headlines to sites like AOL/HuffPo, Yahoo, MSN, etc. There is not enough depth to the article to put much stock in it. Sites like 247wallst.com are a dime a dozen. They have less of a chance of being around in 2014 than Olympus.

Of course it's no secret that Olympus has had some big problems, and continues to  struggle even though they have released seriously innovative and award-winning designs in recent years. If they do go under, maybe I will be able to afford the Olympus kit of my dreams! More likely they would just get purchased by another company that would continue to update the m4/3 line.

Sean

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Raist3d
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This seems a bit bizarre...
In reply to ecxs, 7 months ago

the article may have a partial point but doesn't seem 2014, and certainly doesn't seem to paint a real bigger picture of the market and Olympus.

Seems almost like the writers read a few things from some reports, didn't think about it, took incomplete notes and pieced this together.  Seems confusingly incomplete enough to conclude such thing.

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Ulric
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This time next year:
In reply to ecxs, 7 months ago

"Olympus Not Going To Be Around in 2015?"

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mujana
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It wil NOT be around
In reply to ecxs, 7 months ago

..in 2215...want to bet?

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Jon Ragnarsson
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Re: Olympus Not Going To Be Around in 2014?
In reply to ecxs, 7 months ago

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SirSeth
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In other news...
In reply to ecxs, 7 months ago

... companies that don't diversify may be pinched as smarter smart phones snuff out compact camera sales and as smaller high quality mirrorless systems increase in performance and expectations relegating large SLR based systems to a niche product owned by traditionalists and professional sports photographers.

Who is the only company that sells cameras only and depends on it's DSLR user base for bread and butter? It is not Olympus or Sony. The company that hasn't diversified or embraced real innovation will be the one to suffer. Even then, only time will tell.

Best,

Seth

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cainn24
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Re: Olympus Not Going To Be Around in 2014?
In reply to JeanPierre Martel, 7 months ago

JeanPierre Martel wrote:

Compact cameras are doomed: they will be replaced at the bottom end by intelligent phones and the high-end by ILCs.

Then 1/2.3" sensor performance needs to become so good that it justifies the creation of a system around the format.  Even Nikon's CX format, small as it is, still requires lenses that result in a camera that is significantly bigger than fixed-lens compact equivalents when you need a bit of reach.

With that in mind, I think that enthusiast compacts in particular might be around for quite a bit longer.  Sure, a couple of players might throw in the towel, or at least significantly scale back their range, but then supply (and the costs associated with it) is far more likely to match demand again.

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agentul
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Re: Olympus Not Going To Be Around in 2014?
In reply to JeanPierre Martel, 7 months ago

JeanPierre Martel wrote:

As long as Olympus can't make enough OM-D e-m1 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm lens to feed the demand and as long as the sales of reflex cameras drop 25% a year, I would be more afraid that Canon and Nikon would share the fate of dinosaures, Kodak, and software leaders like WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3.

Nikon also makes other optical equipment besides DSLRs. binoculars (low to high end), microscopes, telescopes. Not to mention high end professional cameras (models that don't need a "pro" in their name). As for Canon, it would take a lot more than a failure in the photo business to take them down. they have applied their knowledge of optics to a very broad spectrum of fields. they make printers, copiers, scanners, video cameras, and other things that i probably don't know about.

also, consider that the price of the DSLRs is really competitive with mirorless systems right now. i love my GH2, but after seeing the photos my friend took on vacation with his Nikon D90, i can say that, with a few exceptions, the DSLR is pretty safe for the near future. so don't sing Nikon and Canon's funeral march just yet.

also, don't forget that talent (design, programming, engineering) can sometimes switch companies. it's not that the Olympus or Panasonic brands are inherently innovative. things don't pop out of the walls. it takes people to develop products, and you can't count on people to always be there, or to always be number 1 in their field for years and years. i mean, i'm not typing this on an IBM PC using a Philips monitor.

oh, and another thing: patents and licensing agreements.

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