The smartphone takeover is so crippling for camera manufacturers that only Nikon, Canon and Sony will survive, or at least that's what the latest report from Reuters seems to preach.
Much like the smartphone industry, which iOS and Android dominate, the camera industry is turning into a duopoly. It seems Canon, Nikon and Sony are on one side with the high-end camera options, while smartphones have the other side with all the low-end options.
The mid-range camera options have failed to pique consumers interests, causing a two-tier market to form. Manufacturers are even embracing mirrorless cameras in order to find traction in the mid-range segment.
Industry researcher IDC speculated that compact camera sales would plummet more than 40 per cent this year to fewer than 59 million, according to Reuters, which further reported that sales of mirrorless cameras look promising because of price range. Consumers also seem to prefer connectivity over picture quality.
Beyond high-end camera line-ups, Canon, Nikon and Sony will apparently fend off the smartphone camera takeover purely because of their reputation: ”Only those who have a strong brand and are competitive on price will last — and only Canon, Nikon and Sony fulfil that criteria," said Yu Yoshida, a Credit Suisse imaging analyst, to Reuters.
While these types of future-guessing reports from Reuters are preemptive, the research statistics are factual and interesting. For instance: the mirrorless format hasn't performed well in the US or Europe of late, but it made up 36 per cent of Japan's interchangeable lens camera shipments in January-October, according to researcher CIPA.
In addition, companies like Panasonic, Fujifulm and Olympus are struggling to find ground. Panasonic saw a 40 per cent drop in overall camera sales in April-September, meaning the division could end up on the cutting table by March 2016 if it doesn't turn prospects around. Curiously, there was no mention of Samsung in Reuters' camera report.