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Sony's (NYSE:SNE) senior vice president and officer in charge of investor relations, Takao Yuhara was interviewed today regarding the progress of Sony's recently launched α (alpha) digital single lens reflex (D-SLR) camera. Should Canon (NYSE:CAJ) be concerned?

Yuhara said the α100 is receiving positive feedback from both domestic and overseas channels. It officially went on sale in Japan on July 21st and will be available to Sony's global customers. Yuhara touted the α100's features such as its 10.2 megapixel CCD, anti-dust system, and built-in image stabilizer. For the year, Sony is aiming for 10% global market share in D-SLR cameras and plans to strengthen its production capacity. The global D-SLR market is expected to amount to 4.7 million units.

Sony's α100 model is priced at US$899.95 for the camera itself, $999.95 with a standard lens kit, and $1308.99 for the starter kit. Using the $899.95 amount and 10% of the 4.7 million unit D-SLR market, Sony could be aiming for revenues in the ballpark of $400+ million. I can't find data on the breakdown of Sony's camera sales as a part of its electronics segment but I estimate revenues from D-SLR models could account for about 10% of its overall digital camera sales.

In their most recent quarter (ended June 30th) Sony, Canon, and Matsushita (NYSE:MC) cited strong demand for digital cameras. Canon raised its full-year 2006 forecast for sales of digital cameras by 18% to 1.01 trillion yen ($8.65b) and according to a Canon executive, that "... growth has been calculated with entrants of these firms (Sony and Matsushita) factored in."

Click here to visit Sony's IR website for access to the video interview of Yuhara regarding the α DSLR camera.

Sony's ordinary shares lost 0.97% in Thursday trading to close at 5,120 yen ($44.49). In intra-day trading Sony's ADRs are down about 0.50% at $44.20.


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Source: Sony α D-SLR Camera Update