highly confidential - Micro Four Thirds info

Started Feb 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
peripheralfocus Veteran Member • Posts: 4,392
yep, amazing how little Can/Nik know about camera business

It sure is a good thing that Canon and Nikon, who between them have approximately 175 years in the camera/optics business, have these forums where they can get the advice they so desperately need on how to make and sell cameras.

The unit share by brand slide in the OP's post is for Japan only. The worldwide story is much different.

First, both Canon and Nikon sold more DSLR cameras than ever before last year -- they recorded 18% and 16% increases, respectively, and Nikon's increase would have been more like 25% if their main DSLR factory in Thailand had not been destroyed by floods.

Canon is currently projecting a 22% increase for this year (although that may include some as yet unannounced mirrorless ILC models). (I couldn't find a forecast for 2012 for Nikon.)

So if you are a Canon or Nikon executive, your first priority has to be to figure out how to meet the continually increasing demand for your very profitable DSLR cameras.

I wonder if people get this simple fact? Canon and Nikon are selling more DSLRs every year. They have hundreds of millions of dollars (almost certainly billions, in fact) in profit yet to be made in that business.

Secondly, it's very clear that mirrorless ILCs are a growing business. There is no doubt of that. But worldwide, their market share is nowhere near as impressive as in Japan. Last year, mirrorless ILCs accounted for somewhere around 2.4 million units out of a total of almost exactly 15.85 million ILC units sold, for about a 15% share of the total ILC market. This is why Olympus chose to highlight Japanese market share in that slide.

(The 2.4 million mirrorless ILC figure is an estimate, but should be quite close to the real figure. It's derived by taking the total 2011 worldwide ILC unit volume (known to within a tiny margin of error) and subtracting the DSLR volume of Canon (known), Nikon (known to within a very small margin of error), Pentax, Sony et. al. (estimated with a fair degree of precision).

So, worldwide , Canon and Nikon have seen their share of ILC sales go from about 80% (they never had anywhere near 95%, as you claimed) to about 75%. And this slight slip in market share is due to the rapid expansion of the ILC business, and happened while they were both rapidly increasing their ILC sales.

time to wake up guys! It's not too late of course because there is a huge installed base that's MUCH larger than yearly sales.

They have plenty of time to get in on the fun. Way more than enough. The inventor of the autofocus point-and-shoot camera was Konica (in 1977 or so). It upended the camera world, but by 1982, Konica was a distant memory in that market, which was dominated for two decades by Canon, Fuji, Pentax, and Olympus.

Those AF point-and-shoots were replaced by digital point-and-shoots. That market was basically invented by Sony and Olympus, who led the market by far in the mid and late 1990s. Canon didn't even arrive at the party until 4 years later, in about 2001. By 2003, Canon was the market leader and has been ever since.

This is what the world looks like from Canon and Nikon's point of view:

DSLRs are still a very good business and growing. Mirrorless ILCs are a rising business, growing even faster. There is an opportunity to make lots of money in DSLRs now and plenty of time to compete in mirrorless.

Fortunately for all of us, in my view, it looks like the mirrorless ILC market will be much more evenly distributed among manufacturers and camera types than DSLRs have been. I think a good number of companies will do well in it.

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