Soaring smartphone demand rings alarm bells for Japan camera firms
omantribune.com -- Nov 23
The soaring popularity of smartphones is crushing demand for point-and-shoot cameras, threatening the once-vibrant sector as firms scramble to hit back with web-friendly features and boost quality, analysts say.
A sharp drop in sales of digital compact cameras marks them as the latest casualty of smartphones as videogame consoles and portable music players also struggle against the all-in-one features offered by the likes of Apple's iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy.
Just as digital cameras all but destroyed the market for photographic film, the rapid shift to picture-taking smartphones has torn into a camera sector dominated by Japanese firms including Canon, Olympus, Sony and Nikon.
"We may be seeing the beginning of the collapse of the compact camera market," said Nobuo Kurahashi, analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities. Figures from Japan's Camera and Imaging Products Association echo the analyst's grim prediction.
Global shipments of digital cameras among Japanese firms tumbled about 42 per cent in September from a year ago to 7.58 million units, with compact offerings falling 48 per cent, according to the Association.
Higher-end cameras with detachable lenses fell a more modest 7.4 per cent in that time, it said. Part of the decline was due to weakness in debt-hit Europe and a Tokyo-Beijing territorial spat that has sparked a consumer boycott of Japan-brand products in the China market.
|| Obama on his way to Japan |
| || US President Barack Obama has left the United States for his first trip to Japan in about 3-and-a-half years. Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold a summit meeting on Thursday. (NHK ) |
|| National school exams held |
| || The education ministry conducted national academic achievement tests on Tuesday for all final-year students at primary and middle schools across the country. About 2.24 million students at about 30,000 schools took Japanese and mathematics exams. (The Japan News ) |
|| Japan, U.S. to defer broad trade accord |
| || Japan and the United States are now seen deferring a broad trade agreement until after a summit meeting set for Thursday due to differences over key issues, informed sources said Tuesday. (Jiji Press ) |
|| Japan's bird flu virus has same gene type as S. Korea's |
| || The virus strain that caused bird flu at a poultry farm in southwestern Japan has been confirmed to be genetically identical to the one found in South Korea, the National Institute of Animal Health said Tuesday. (Jiji Press ) |
|| Lost codes spark airport scramble on eve of Obama's arrival |
| || Airport authorities in Tokyo launched a frantic scramble to change security pass codes, an official said Tuesday, the day before U.S. President Barack Obama arrives, after an airline employee dropped a memo containing the details. (Japan Today ) |
|| Ex-judge installed camera in women's toilet at Ministry of Justice |
| || A former judge from the Ministry of Justice is alleged to have installed a camera inside a women's toilet inside a ministry building in Kasumigaseki, people with knowledge of the matter announced on Monday, reports Sports Nippon (Apr. 22). (Tokyo Reporter ) |
|| Man jumps to death after fatally stabbing father |
| || Police in Tokyo said that a 46-year-old man apparently jumped to his death after fatally stabbing his father at their condominium in Tokyo's Koto Ward on Sunday morning. (Japan Today ) |
|| Matsushima gull feeding ban to protect pine trees |
| || Feeding black-tailed gulls has been a popular activity on the sightseeing boats that cruise around the Matsushima islets, considered to be one of the three most beautiful spots in Japan, but local authorities banned the practice this month in a bid to protect the islets' famous pine trees from withering as a result of nitrogen in the droppings of the gulls, who have bred in large numbers in the area. (The Japan News ) |