When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

Ed Lee
 Jun 6, 2014

With the digital camera market struggling this year, it could be very easy for camera vendors to pull back their marketing and sales efforts and try to weather out the storm by controlling their costs. However, this would be the worst thing that they could do. “Out of sight, out of mind,” as the saying goes. A better approach to the situation should be, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Canon and Samsung are showing that they are not going to roll over and let the market dictate to them what the outcome for the year will be. InfoTrends estimates that, on average, there will be over one million cameras sold a month this year. Although this number has been much higher in recent history, it is still an impressive quantity of product being sold. Some company is going to sell these cameras and it appears that Canon and Samsung are saying, “Why not us?”

The Reality of 4K

Ed Lee
 Apr 22, 2014

Once again, the major theme of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show was 4K — from capture to workflow to transmit and display. With each passing year, 4K gets a little closer to becoming reality.

I was asked many times at the show “Is 4K for real?” and “Will it become mainstream?”

Mobile World Congress – An Imaging Perspective

Ed Lee
 Mar 6, 2014

Players in the mobile market congregated in Barcelona, Spain from February 24-27 for the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show and conference. The 2014 event was bigger than previous years and preliminary numbers from the GSMA Association suggest that around 85,000 visitors attended the show.

While Mobile World Congress is not an imaging specific show, it is arguably the place where the future of imaging is being shaped. As consumers migrate from digital cameras to smartphones for every day photos, vendors in the smartphone market are beginning to have a significant influence on photo habits and feature expectations.

Read more »

2014 International CES by the Numbers

Ed Lee
 Jan 31, 2014
The International CES in Las Vegas, NV is considered the premier trade show in the consumer electronics (CE) industry. In 2009, the show suffered a dramatic drop in attendance because of the economic crisis in the U.S., but has been steadily climbing back. This year, the weather gods did not cooperate. Frigid weather conditions across the county resulted in massive flight delays and cancelations during the weekend leading up to the show. As a result, many people headed to the show did not make it. Therefore, attendance numbers were likely a bit lower than show organizer the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) predicted. The following looks at some of the important statistics that surround the CES trade show and examines the health of the show. Read more »

Time for the Industry to Start Calling Everything DILCs

Ed Lee
 Dec 13, 2013

Results of InfoTrends’ Consumer Digital Interchangeable Lens Camera multi-client study reveal that this is an exciting and also challenging time to be involved in the digital interchangeable lens camera (DILC) market. Rapid changes are still underway, and these are affecting consumer purchasing/usage behaviors, camera vendors’ product development strategies, and retailers’ selling strategies.
Read more »

Contour Action Cameras – Down but not out

Ed Lee
 Oct 25, 2013

Back in August, Contour abruptly closed its doors, leaving the space to market leader GoPro, Sony, Ion, and newcomer Garmin. Contour was one of the pioneers in the action camera space and was founded in 2004 by Jason Green and Marc Barros.

According to Geekwire.com, the company at its peak had 70 employees and in 2011 generated $27.3 million in revenue. However, the company struggled to maintain a competitive position against the juggernaut marketing budget of GoPro and new entrants to the market like Sony and others who have much deeper pockets. The company had been struggling financially this year and efforts to sell the company did not pan out. As a result, it defaulted on $7.5 million in loans and was forced to close its doors and be placed in the hands of a court-appointed receiver who is tasked with selling the company.

With the action camera market still in an early stage of adoption and gaining more attention among consumers, it is unfortunate to see a company bow out already. However, the shutdown may be short lived. Geekwire.com reports that Contour has just been sold at auction for $1.93 million to Clark Capital Partners, an existing Contour investor. The deal still needs to be finalized. Clark Capital intends to reopen the company and re-launch the brand. It remains to be seen what happens to the former employees who were all let go when the company closed. Clark Capital is considering moving Contour’s headquarters from Seattle to Utah where it is located.

InfoTrends’ Opinion

Clark Capital has its work cut out for itself. The first thing it will need to do is to repair relationships with Contour’s suppliers, dealers, and customers, which were likely hurt because of the abrupt closure. Suppliers were stuck with inventory, dealers were stuck with product and no sales support, and consumers were not able to get any customer or service support. Once Contour gets production rolling again and reestablishes a dealer channel, it must invest the marketing dollars to rise above the noise that other action camera companies are making.

Companies looking to get into the action camera business may want to explore a potential investment position in the new Contour, as they will be able to get in above the ground floor. If the company is successful in its re-launch, it can ride the wave of market growth of action cameras expected in the coming years.

To learn more about the action camera market refer to InfoTrends’ The Wearable Camera Market report.  It is available to clients of our Digital Photography Trends Service or from the InfoTrends report store.

A New Market Segmentation for Capture-enabled Devices

Ed Lee
 Sep 23, 2013

Excerpt from Digital Imaging Reporter’s State of the Industry 2013

More than ever before, consumers love to take photos. InfoTrends forecasts that cameras and phones will capture over 125 billion photos in the U.S. this year. While the photography market is certainly not going away, how consumers use their cameras and what they do with their images is changing. Moving forward, InfoTrends sees the capture market dividing into four segments.

Read more »

Sony Lens Cameras: If you can’t beat them, join them

Ed Lee
 Sep 16, 2013

On September 4, Sony held a press conference in New York City to announce a multitude of new products for the fall season. Two of the more intriguing ones were the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 and QX100 lens-style cameras. These products are self-contained cameras with the exception of an LCD screen. Embedded in the lens are the image sensor, a battery, and a microSD slot. The devices connect to smartphones using Wi-Fi and then Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app turns the phone’s LCD screen into a viewfinder.

Sony Cyber-shot QX10 and QX100 Lens-style Cameras

 

Read more »

For those short on memory, SanDisk has an answer

Ed Lee
 Aug 15, 2013

One of the big dilemmas for today’s smartphones and tablets is limited memory. With more vendors including only internal memory and no built-in microSD card slot for extended memory options, mobile device users are left with nowhere to go if they run out of internal memory for their collection of music, photos, and videos.

Read more »

What’s Next After Connected Cameras

Ed Lee
 Jul 3, 2013

Digital camera vendors are finally adding Wi-Fi technology to still cameras in meaningful quantities, and InfoTrends believes that connectivity is finally here to stay. As a proof point, in the first half of 2013, one-third of new cameras announced offer Wi-Fi connectivity as a feature. This is an increase from less than 15% in 2012. More choices will lead to more sales of Wi-Fi enabled cameras. Read more »

2014 InfoTrends, Inc.

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux