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Sony’s DSC-P71 Attracts Mainstream Buyers

Sony bestrides the digital imaging globe like a colossus, capturing and holding the dominant market share across the sub-$1,000 category for three years running.

The company’s success in 2002 has been anchored by the performance of its top-selling model, the Cyber-shot DSC-P71.

Introduced in February 2002, it was positioned at the top of the company’s entry-level “P” series at a suggested retail price of $399.

The model’s success stems in part from the feature-set of 3.2-megapixel resolution, 3x optical zoom, said Mark Weir, senior product manager, Sony.

“Although not the first, the DSC-P71 was one of the first 3.2-megapixel ‘well rounded’ cameras at an affordable price point,” Weir said. “The P71 put it all together: cost/performance, resolution, feature set, easy of use, strength in the CE channel and the Sony brand.”

The success at CE was critical for the model, Weir said.

“According to NPD, the P71 was number one in units and dollars for the CE and computer/office superstore channels from April 2002 to March 2003 — which made up two-thirds of the total industry on an NPD basis,” he said.

“It was not as successful in the Photo Channel,” Weir continued, “as this channel had not discovered the strength of the $299-$349 price zone in 2002.”