highly confidential - Micro Four Thirds info

Started Feb 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
peripheralfocus Veteran Member • Posts: 4,391
yes, Nikon p&s success a bit puzzling; + the future

MichaelKJ wrote:

Eamon,

The one thing I would add to your assessment is that Nikon has done even better in the compact market than it has in the ILC market. For reasons that escape me, sales of compacts were up 20% for the first three quarters, while ILC sales were up16.5%.

Yeah, I'm not sure why Nikon's point-and-shoot business has had such a relatively sudden jump lately (their point-and-shoot market share is up, too). Maybe their recent lineups have been pretty good? I dunno; haven't looked at the cameras at all recently.

As I know you're aware, a successful ILC business is much more profitable than even a well-run point-and-shoot business. No company breaks out profits by camera type in their financial statements, but equities analysts sometimes give their estimates; they have in the past estimated that in some years Canon has made up to a 30% operating profit on its DSLRs, and Nikon also more than 20% in many years. Those are pretty good margins for electronics manufacturing (not Apple margins, to be sure, but relatively good compared to most electronics business lines.)

Even the most successful point-and-shoot businesses eke out much lower margins -- below 10%, if they make any money at all, in nearly every estimate I've ever seen.

This is partly again why I think the expansion of the ILC market looks really promising if you like camera companies (which, despite my long close acquaintance with them, I still do, God help me). If the ILC market really does expand into the 20-30 million unit range -- and I was skeptical of those projections -- there will be room for a lot of companies to make a profit manufacturing lots of different, cool cameras.

This is why the "One format will rule them all!" sorts of posts on these forums both amuse and annoy me. It's pretty clear that the world has plenty of room for good Micro Four Thirds cameras from Olympus/Panasonic but also good smaller format cameras (Nikon 1), and larger formats (Sony, Samsung et. al (even Leica!) ), and traditional DSLRs, and still-video hybrid cameras, and who knows what else.

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