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No Change In Top Camera Brands

Santa Clara, Calif. — Research firms IDC and NPD released their 2006 market share figures for the digital camera industry today, indicating that yet again Kodak, Canon and Sony remain the market’s top players — though their relative positions have shifted.

IDC also reported that the fourth quarter of 2006 was the first in which the digital camera category experienced decline, as unit shipments fell three percent vs. the year-ago quarter.

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 HP (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).

Both figures include sales of digital SLRs.

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.