Jul 24, 2012
For as long as mobile phones have included embedded cameras, digital camera vendors have been wondering when–or even if–these handsets would begin to impact traditional digital still camera usage. Until recently, camera phones largely had a complementary effect on digital cameras. Mobile handsets were great for spontaneous photo capture because they were typically carried at all times, but the resulting images were generally low-quality. Meanwhile, digital cameras offered features that were far superior to those of camera phones, including high resolution, optical zoom, and quick shutter speeds. Traditional digital cameras were therefore the go-to devices for milestone events, special occasions, and vacations.
According to InfoTrends’ ongoing research on the mobile imaging market, smartphone adoption is currently exploding. Although less than 4% of respondents to our 2008 mobile imaging end-user survey were smartphone owners, this share had jumped to nearly 46% by 2012.
Figure 1: Share of Smartphone Users, 2008-2012
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Jul 7, 2010
I read an interesting article today in the Wall Street Journal that reminded me of the lack of innovation taking place in the digital still camera market. In the article Videogame Makers in Talks About Portable 3G Connections there is a quote from NTT DoCoMo President Ryuji Yamada who said, “videogame makers know that in order for portable game machines to take the next step forward, they need wireless. We are discussing this with various players.”
Unfortunately, most of the camera vendors have taken a very traditional approach to camera design by primarily focusing on megapixels, zoom, shutter lag time, and lower prices. While these improvements are all very nice, my feeling is they are pretty much played out.
The following chart shows DSC camera placements in North America over the last five years along with average megapixels and average selling price. Let’s face it, the market is saturated. DSC vendors have fulfilled the basic needs of consumers (taking a quality photo) with a wide range of cameras that meets every traditional need at a price point they can afford.
Lower Prices and More Megapixels Aren’t Driving More DSC Shipments
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Dec 16, 2009
InfoTrends recently published its 2009 Digital Still Camera End-User Survey for the United States. We have now been tracking this market for over a decade, but the changes that have occurred in just the past six years have been truly staggering.
Although the digital still camera market was not exactly in its infancy in 2003, it was certainly a much newer technology than it is today. Only 45% of the respondents to our 2003 survey owned digital cameras. According to our most recent survey, that percentage currently stands at about 70%.
Prior to 2005, digital cameras were primarily being adopted by more affluent households. Back in 2003, the mean annual household income among digital camera owners was $98,700. This average fell to $75,700 in 2004, which was still quite high but represented a considerable year-over-year drop. From 2005 through 2009, the average household income of our digital camera owners has hovered around $60,000 annually. The Figure below illustrates that the digital camera market began to enter the mainstream in 2005, and household incomes among digital camera owners have been much more stable since that time.
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