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BOSTON, MASS. — The recent economic malaise has not afflicted the digital camera market, according to a new study conducted by the InfoTrends Research Group, based here. The study predicted that the installed base of digital cameras in North America is expected to reach 21 million units, achieving a household penetration of 18 percent.
According to a statement issued by the group, despite the downturn in the economy during the first half of the year (which caused companies in the consumer electronics, computer and photography markets to lower expectations for sales growth) the digital camera market has been more resilient than other markets. In 2001, digital camera unit sales are forecast to reach 9.4 million, a growth of 55 percent over 2000.
This year, digital camera unit sales will nearly match mass-market scanner unit sales.
"This is a clear turning point in the consumer digital imaging market," said Michelle Lampmann, market research analyst. "Digital cameras have achieved a price/performance level that is compelling to consumers, particularly the sub-$300, 2 million pixel models. Additionally, consumers recognize the value of purchasing a digital camera in a time of greater justification for personal expenditures, because they may expect to spend less on film and photo-processing services."
InfoTrends' digital camera end user studies have shown, predictably, that the average digital camera user uses less film as a result of owning a digital camera.
The study did indicate that "digital photography is still more complicated than it should be for the average consumer," claiming that a host of new expectations and procedures for obtaining and managing digital photos and prints have often befuddled the consumer.
The new report, "2001 Low End Digital Camera Forecast North America," covers major trends in the sub-$1,000 digital camera market, and includes a five-year market forecast for digital camera unit shipments, revenue, and vendor market share.