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Research firms IDC and The NPD Group released their 2006 market share figures for the digital camera industry, indicating that yet again Kodak, Canon and Sony remain the market's top players — though their relative positions have shifted.
IDC, which tracks shipments to retail, pegged Canon as the leading brand, with 20 percent of the market, followed by Sony (17 percent), Kodak (16 percent), Nikon (10 percent) and Hewlett-Packard (7 percent). Kodak fell from the top spot it held in IDC's rankings last year.
According to NPD, which tracks retail sell-through, Kodak was the top brand, with 19 percent of the unit volume, followed by Canon (18 percent), Sony (12 percent), Nikon (7.5 percent) and HP (5 percent). While retaining its 2005 lead, Kodak total share of the pie eroded from 26 percent.
Both figures include sales of digital SLRs.
Market leaders also claim the most retail real estate. Kodak, Canon and Sony owned 20 percent, 16 percent and 14 percent of all camera replacements at retail, respectively, according to research firm Current Analysis.
While the top three brands remain unchanged, the middle was in flux with Casio, Samsung and Panasonic doubling their shares from the year before, said Chris Chute, research manager, IDC. Nikon also made gains thanks to d-SLR sales which accounted for nearly 20 percent of the company's fourth-quarter sales, Chute added.
For the full year, the market grew five percent to 29.8 million units (including d-SLRs), thanks to price drops and strong rebates. Roughly 1.7 million units sold were digital SLRs, Chute observed, adding that the figure would likely hit 2 million in 2007.
According to IDC, 85 percent of those who purchased a digital camera in 2006 were repeat buyers. NPD has put the figure at 50 percent.
While both IDC and NPD are predicting single-digit unit and dollar growth in 2007, vendors will likely have an equal, if not greater, number of models on store shelves, said Antoinette Marty, digital camera analyst, Current Analysis.
"So far there's been no throttling back," Marty said. In 2006 there were a total of 492 camera SKUs (which includes models that were transitioned out midyear), a 24 percent increase from 2005, Marty said. Nearly every vendor increased the number of camera SKUs available in 2006 by a double digit percentage.
Consumer electronics stores continue to be a favored destination for camera placements, with CE and computer superstores accounting for 46 percent of camera placements in 2006, according to Current Analysis. Mass merchants, however, outsold CE dealers in 2006 to account for a 33 percent share of unit sales, according to NPD (with CE at 29 percent).
CE stores account for 32 percent of the category's dollars while mass merchants account for 22 percent, according to NPD. The average price of digicams sold through CE stores was $271, second only to the average at photo specialty stores ($310), according to Current Analysis.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.