San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Digital cameras will experience stronger than expected growth in 2007 thanks to quicker product turnover among consumers, according to the research firm IDC.
For the year, IDC expects 122 million digital cameras to ship globally, up from an initial estimate of 114 million, said Chris Chute, worldwide digital imaging research manager, IDC. The firm had announced its plan to upwardly revise its forecast earlier in the month when it reported stronger than expected second-quarter unit shipments.
The global market will grow from 122 million units shipped in 2007, to more thann 138 million shipping in 2011. The digital-SLR category will grow an average of 13 percent to more than 11 million in 2011.
In the United States, unit shipments are predicted to reach 34 million in 2007, from an initial estimate of 32 million. Digital-SLR shipments are now expected to hit 2.2 million, up from an earlier forecast of 2 million.
Given that the mean number of cameras per camera-owning homes stayed flat in 2006 at 1.4, IDC concluded that higher churn is driving the markets unexpectedly strong growth in 2007. Such growth will continue for several years, but is not without consequence, Chute said.
"The digital camera has become a personal, low-priced item, similar to an MP3 player or mobile phone, which are more driven by impulse and fashion than utility.This will propel shipments to higher levels than previously thought," he said.
The on-rush of lower-cost models will favor manufacturers who can compete in the razor-thin margin arena between $150 and $200, Chute said. "The space between the low-cost cameras and digital SLRs is disappearing," he added.