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Brighter Outlook for Digital Camera Market

Futuresource Consulting announced that, according to its latest report, the global digital camera market is on track for continued recovery this year.

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Unedited press release follows:

Digital Camera Outlook Strengthened by Emerging Markets: New Futuresource Report

The global digital camera market is on track for continued recovery according to a new Digital Camera Market report from Futuresource Consulting. After a 4% fall in overall digital camera shipment volumes in 2009, the report shows gains of 8% last year, with the market on track to grow another 7% in 2011.

“This new report covers all key markets across the globe and shows that demand is shifting from the developed markets of Western Europe, the USA and Japan,” says James Wells, Research Consultant at Futuresource. “We’re now seeing rapid growth within emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, where just 2% of the population currently owns a digital camera. In addition, the average trade price in the BRICs region is higher than the global average, as demand is coming from a much smaller and wealthier segment of the population, therefore deriving 25% ($6.6bn) of the total global value from just 20% of the global volume.

“Within the BRICs region, Brazil is experiencing the highest unit growth. Last year we saw an increase in overall shipments of nearly 40% compared with 2009 and by 2015 we expect CE device ownership to be the highest of the BRICs countries. However, import tax is high in Brazil, which has fuelled grey imports estimated to account for nearly 20% of fixed lens camera sales and 50% of the interchangeable lens camera market.”

In developed markets – with nearly 80% household penetration – vendors are focusing on existing owners in an effort to shorten the upgrade/replacement cycle, as well as differentiating digital cameras from smartphones, which continue to pose a growing threat.

“As we move forward, the primary opportunity for digital cameras is as a ‘one in every household’ device as opposed to one in every pocket,” says Wells. “Despite lacking the imaging capabilities of most digital cameras, the smartphone will satisfy the personal role and will help to complement the overall photo experience”. Smartphone penetration across Western Europe, Japan and the USA will grow from 44% of the population in 2010 to 74% by 2015, whereas in the BRICs region it will grow from 8% to 24% over the same period. The digital camera category will differentiate itself from smartphones by emphasising premium features like HD video and powerful optical zooms, greater than ten times magnification.

Looking to the interchangeable lens category, the emergence of the new compact system camera (CSC) has energised the segment, significantly altering the market outlook of the category in the mid- to long-term. A larger-than-anticipated proportion of CSCs are being purchased by existing fixed lens users enticed by interchangeable lens functionality, stylised looks, ease of use and the smaller form factors when compared with a DSLR, which is adding to the overall number of users in the category.

Futuresource will be hosting the Futuresource Entertainment Summit in London again this year, taking place on 16 and 17 June. Topics will include the rise of digital content delivery, convergent devices vs. dedicated devices, and the business opportunities presented by new home entertainment technologies, platforms and delivery systems. For more information visit

Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments.