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Maturity Changing Dynamics of the U.S. Digital Camera Market


Digital Camera Market Overview

The year 2008 is the first year InfoTrends forecasts that the North American digital camera market will show single digit growth since the first forecast was published back in 1999. In the space of 10 years, the digital camera market has moved from infancy to maturity. Even late adopters are embracing digital cameras as they enter the market for the first time, driven in part by the lack of analog cameras, but also by low digital camera prices. Although the market is slowing, new technology and lower prices are tempting consumers to return to the stores to upgrade their cameras or to purchase additional cameras for their household. Digital cameras are mimicking consumer electronics products (e.g., MP3 players) and are becoming items owned by an individual rather than being shared by a group.

Growth Drivers

Individuals Become Owners of Digital Cameras

Unlike film cameras, which were owned by a household, digital cameras are increasingly being owned by individuals. This trend is becoming apparent in annual end-user data that InfoTrends collects. In the period from 2005 to 2007, the number of households that own more than one camera has increased from 31% in 2005 to 40% in 2007. InfoTrends expects that multiple camera ownership will become the norm because digital cameras are inexpensive and because consumers own digital cameras in the same way as consumer electronics items like MP3 players, PDAs, and mobile phones (which are owned by individuals). In addition, data from InfoTrends 2007 U.S. digital camera end-user survey shows in households that own more than camera, usually different people own each camera. This suggests households are purchasing cameras for the individual rather than a camera that is shared by more than one person.

Short Repurchase Cycles Keep Market Buoyant

Retirement rates of digital cameras are between three and four years on average; however, some segments of the market purchase digital cameras frequently to own the latest technology even if the current camera is only a few months old. To shorten replacement cycles, new products must be available with new technology that gives camera-interested consumers good reasons for buying. Lower prices on digital cameras make it less difficult to justify owning multiple cameras. Younger consumers and frequent camera users in particular are likely to have short repurchase cycles.

The preceding is an excerpt from a report entitled, North American Consumer Digital Camera Forecast: 2008-2013. To learn more about this report, visit our online store or contact Robyn Wuori at ext. 109 or via e-mail at .

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