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Is Toshiba getting out of the digital camera business?

As you may have noticed, we have not seen (m)any digital camera announcements by Toshiba lately. As an active player in the digital camera arena, Toshiba used to announce a new model or series at least every two or three months. The Toshiba PDR-5300 is the last announcement that we've seen in the US and Europe in October of last year. The last Toshiba announcement in Japan has been nearly a year ago. So what's going on? Is Toshiba quietly getting out of the digital camera business or is this the still before the storm.
Update Nov 9: Steve Sanders has received confirmation that Toshiba has left the digital camera business...

EDITORIAL

The last SoraOf course only Toshiba knows the right answer to the question, but when reading the signs one might be inclined to believe that Toshiba is bailing out. Toshiba's recent Basic Strategies for the Period to FY2006 of April 9, 2004 does not mention any specifics on the digital camera business nor has there been any other publication or activity in this area on any of Toshiba's world wide websites.

Lately however, Toshiba has begun to change or remove the digital camera product links on their websites in the USA and Europe.  A recent example of this can be seen on the homepage of the Toshiba Imaging Systems Group where a click on the Digital Camera section would bring you to digital camera product and support information, clicking the same link now will bring you to a page containg only support information.

All in all it does not seem likely that Toshiba will continue to play a role in the heated digital camera market, where experts say that a large chunk of it will be eaten by the camera phones. It seems that Toshiba sees better profit opportunities in delivering storage and other components for this business.

But then again, could it be the still before the storm…?

Other Toshiba links

The Toshiba website in Europe
The Toshiba Sora website in Japan
The Toshiba Allegretto website in Japan

Additional information: The last Sora
July 29, 2004
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