Digital Camera Sales: Shot Out of a Canon

Includes: CAJ, KODK, SNE
by: Jim Woods

Digital camera sales shot straight out of a Canon this past holiday season. Check out the quote from Reuters:

U.S. sales of digital cameras have beaten expectations … and are poised to hit a record as lower prices encourage consumers to buy a more-powerful second or third camera… The surprising
strength in filmless cameras comes despite experts’ projections one year ago that demand would start to slow as fewer consumers looked to replace older film cameras.

Surprising? Not if you were privy to the digital camera survey data we had back in early November. Our November Consumer Holiday spending report noted that digital cameras would top the holiday wish list – with 27% of those surveyed listing it as their number one purchase item for the season.

And who was the big digital camera winner of our November survey? None other than Canon (NYSE:CAJ), which scored a hefty 33% market share among digital camera owners – up 5-points since our previous survey in April 2006.

Importantly, the November survey also found Canon leading among those planning to purchase a digital camera, with a third (34%) of respondents announcing they planned to purchase their camera from Canon.

Cut to our early January 2007 survey results, which once again show a surge for Canon:

Do you currently own a digital camera?

changewave dig cameras

Who is the manufacturer of the digital camera(s) you currently own?

changewave dig cameras

Canon’s rise to a 37% market share points to its continuing domination of the digital camera space. Moreover when we looked at future purchases, Canon (35%) appears still full of powder.

Who is the manufacturer of the digital camera you plan on buying?

changewave dig cameras

We also see an upswing for Nikon in planned purchases, along with Sony grabbing a bit more of the future buying pie. But when it comes to overall market dominance in digital cameras, Canon clearly has the momentum going forward.

That said, in Canon’s January 29th earnings announcement, they reported a 17% surge in camera sales. Note that digital cameras represents only about a quarter of the company’s total business. The rest of Canon’s revenue comes from sales of computer peripherals such as copiers, printers, fax machines and scanners – and its momentum in this space is something we'll be looking at closely in follow-up Alliance surveys.

Paul Carton co-wrote this article.

This article summarizes the results of a recent ChangeWave Alliance survey. The Alliance is a research network of 10,000 business, technology and medical professionals who spend their everyday lives working on the front line of technological change. For more info on the ChangeWave Alliance, or if you are interested in joining, please click here.