Bloomberg: Nikon Cuts Profit Forecast
"Nikon Corp. (7731), a Japanese maker of cameras and chipmaking equipment, lowered its forecast for annual profit, saying global economic growth may slow and a stronger yen may erode overseas profit."
Nikon Investor Releations (Recent Financials)
Sales for the quarter ending June, 2012 were up slightly over the prior year, but operating profits were down from Y37b to Y23b. Net income was down from Y31b to Y16b. Management says that a fall in compact camera sales was somewhat offset by a rise in sales of interchangeable lens models, but does not break out profits for the respective segments. Imaging products in generall accounted for over 70% of sales and most of the profits.
Similarly, Canon reported a drop in compact camera sales. Canon's office products divisions account for more sales than the imaging products sector, though the latter accounts for nearly the same amount of operating profits.
Likely, both companies will cut back the P&S camera sector, offering fewer models than before. Whether they try to compete at the high-end, by offering their respective answers to the Sony RX100, is anyone's guess. From a corporate vantage, Sony's initiative has little weight anyway, unless millions upon millions of people forego their next iPad or Galaxy in favor of a $650 pocket camera without WiFi, 4G, GPS, or Angry Birds.
Nothing is forever. Smart phone cameras will soon be the primary P&S camera. One less thing to carry with comparable results translates to lower P&S sales. Of course camera buffs wish to see all camera designs forever. Like pay phones, P&S are part of the past.
You may be right - if mid-level and high-level compact camera development stagnates and doesn't start adding things like WiFi, GPS, and even phone modules to its designs, and if phone makers put better and better cameras on-board (up to the limits of sensor and zoom lens size) with much improved ergonomics for hand holding. As for very low-end compacts, I would agree that their fate is sealed, but that has been obvious for quite some time. For the mid and higher end of the compact camera market, an awful lot of those "ifs" need to materialize for your dream of assigning compact cameras to the fate of pay phones comes true.
Do you know how all the fearless and not too unreasonable predictions made in the 1930's about how we would all be flying around in our own jet-car sedans by about 1960 panned out? Or that we'd all be living high and working 20 hours a week with our personal plutonium power plants and robots doing our dishes by the early 2000's, made by countless prognosticators in the 1960's? I could go on and on with people extrapolating current trends along a continuous timeline to predict the future with noithing but failure as their reward. So, as to your confident decree, I say: well, maybe, maybe not.
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Your statement about falling compact camera sales may be true for Nikon, but I looked over the Canon report you linked to:
and did not see the same trend.
From the above report:
"As for compact digital cameras, models launched this spring offering high image quality and and networking capabilities have supported healthy sales growth."
The Imaging System sales in Japan, Americas, Europe and Asia/Oceania have all increased for the first half of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. There is a 3.6% increase in net income for Canon within the first half of 2012 as compared to the same period in 2011.
Cy Cheze wrote:
Likely, both companies will cut back the P&S camera sector, offering fewer models than before.
There is absolutely NO MENTION of cutting back the P&S camera sector for Canon.
Please stop making up stories.
Laurentiu Todie wrote:
I guess it's about time camera manufacturers put smart phone functionality in their P&S models.
Whoever licences Angry Birds first and puts it into a camera will surely shoot to the top.
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