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Nikon’s Camera Sales for Q1, 2013

Following up on the CIPA numbers—the Nikon financial report for the quarter ending March 31, 2013 has some interesting statements:

Accelerate shifting newer products in the entry class of DSLR.

Reconsider product planning of Nikon 1 (non reflex camera). Nikon 1represents the majority of sales volume reduction of 550,000 interchangeable-lens type digital cameras.

Revise development plan for new compact DSC. Although our market share has been expanding in recent years, sales volumes will diminish more than estimated market shrink.

Regional sals targets for Americas, Europe and Asia (excluding China) could not be achieved due to sluggish camera markets.

The markets for interchangeable-lens type digital cameras and interchangeable lenses posted a 2-digit shrinkage from the previous year in terms of shipment volume, but our sales held on to make a 1-digit reduction.

While the compact DSC market was almost halved, our unit sales also suffered 30% reduction.

In other words, it’s a tough market that at its best has shrunk slightly: this will drive some tough decisions among all camera companies!

The Nikon 1 apparently fared very badly (even though it is an interchangeable lens camera), but the conventional DSLR market is down only slightly.

The “compact DSC” market was cut in half (though Nikon fared somewhat better than overall). My guess is that this means almost entirely the low end compact cameras also as reportedly with the CIPA numbers, but regrettably Nikon’s report adds no clarity about the high end compacts.

My guess is that the $800 - $1200 camera segment held up better, e.g., the Nikon Coolpix A and Ricoh GR and Sigma DP Merrill and similar. Basically, the current reporting structure considers a Nikon Coolpix A to be the same category as sub-$500 small sensor cameras. Which is crazy, since smartphone cameras overlap the low end, but offer nowhere near the image quality of the high end compacts.

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