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  • Digital Still Camera Shipments Reach 2.1 Mln in 1997
  • March 9, 1998 (TOKYO) -? Global shipments of digital still cameras in 1997 reached 2,101,000, up 213 percent year on year, according to a survey conducted by Nikkei Market Access, a membership-system IT data-providing service.
    The survey said the number of digital cameras sold in Japan reached 1,090,000, and those sold overseas registered 1,010,000. Both exceeded a million for the first time. (See chart.)

    Sales started taking off mainly in North America in the latter half of 1997. Nikkei Market Access forecasts that sales outside of Japan will exceed sales in Japan in 1998. It also said that the number of digital cameras shipped worldwide in 1998 will reach 3.2 million.

    Japanese consumers are shifting to digital cameras with higher resolutions. A high-resolution camera with about 1 million pixels previously was priced at about 300,000 yen (US$2,360). But in the summer of 1997, Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. and Seiko Epson Corp. started marketing new cameras with 800,000 pixels at a price of about 80,000 yen (US$630). The introduction of these two cameras triggered wider marketing of low-priced and high-resolution cameras by other companies.

    The Nikkei Market Access survey said that the ratio of digital still cameras with more than 800,000 pixels shipped in Japan was about 7 percent in the first quarter of 1997, but that the ratio rose to more than 30 percent in the fourth quarter of the same year.

    In 1998, cameras with more than 1 million pixels are expected to account for about a third of the shipments in Japan.

    The popularity of such low-priced but high-resolution digital cameras greatly altered the market in 1997.

    Casio Computer Co., Ltd. accounted for a 40-percent share of the digital cameras shipped in Japan in 1996, but its share fell to about 20 percent in 1997. On the other hand, Olympus, Seiko Epson and Kodak Japan Ltd. increased their shipments from the latter half of 1997.

    Casio maintained the top share of Japan's digital camera market in 1997, and competition among the top six camera makers was intense.

    Details of the survey will be carried in the Nikkei Market Access Report, and also on the Nikkei Market Access' Web Site. They are available in Japanese for members only.

    Chart : Shipments of Digital Still Cameras

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    (Nikkei Market Access)

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    Updated: Sun Mar 8 00:23:46 1998