Earlier today, the Nikon board of directors announced plans to close Nikon Imaging (China) Co., LTD (NIC)—a subsidiary based in Wuxi City, Jiangsu, China, where NIC employed some 2,500 workers at a factory that produced compact digital cameras and DSLR lenses. The closure, says Nikon, is due to "the rise of smartphones" and the "rapidly shrinking" compact camera market.

Nikon's announcement of the closure lays the blame for this cut squarely on the shoulders of the smartphone revolution.

In recent years [...] due to the rise of smartphones, the compact digital camera market has been shrinking rapidly, leading to a significant decrease in operating rate at NIC and creating a difficult business environment. In this context, the Company conducted rounds of thorough reviews and discussions on the global manufacturing structure optimization measures stated in the company-wide restructuring plan announced by the Company in November 2016. The Company has decided to discontinue operations of NIC.

Nikon says expenses related to the closure of the factory and "discontinued operations of the consolidated subsidiary" are expected to reach about 7 Billion Yen (~$62 million USD).

Of course, the end of Nikon Imaging (China) doesn't mean the end of Nikon cameras in China. According to Nikkei, Nikon controls 30% of the digital camera market there, and Nikon itself says it will "continue proactively developing business and services in China." This move is simply in keeping with a harsh if unsurprising (and "old news") reality: the smartphone has killed the entry-level compact.