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Dry Minilabs Replacing Silver Halide

InfoTrends estimates that U.S. shipments of digital minilab equipment declined slightly from 2007 to 2008, shipments are expected to experience significant growth between 2009 and 2012 as dry minilabs penetrate the market. The next few years will see a reversal of new sales from silver halide labs to dry labs as more products become available and the cost per print gap narrows.

InfoTrends estimates that nearly 70% of digital minilabs sold in 2008 were dry, and that nearly 100% of new shipments will be dry by 2013 as silver halide labs become a niche product. While silver halide printing is not expected to go away completely, it will be used mainly in extremely high-volume locations for the next few years.

We would predict a much higher growth rate for dry minilab shipments in 2009 if the economy were in better condition. There are many retailers in the market that would like to convert from silver halide to dry, but many are waiting to see what (if any) incentives are offered by manufacturers and what impact the stimulus package may have in regard to financing. If the economy starts to turn around and it becomes easier for retailers to purchase new equipment, we could see stronger sales of dry labs this year. If the economy stays mired in recession and taking on new debt remains a risky proposition, however, then we could also see more retailers decide to exit the photofinishing market completely.

The preceding is an excerpt from a report entitled U.S. Photo Kiosk and Digital Minilab 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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