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Cooperation and Competition Go Hand in Hand in Western European Digital Camera Market


www.idc.comLondon, August 14, 2003
In 2002, shipments of digital cameras into Western Europe increased by over 100% and reached in excess of 8 million units, which translated into $3.4 billion in end-user spend. By the end of 2004 IDC forecasts that this number will have doubled again to over 16 million units and should then begin to level out and reach close to 20 million units by the end of 2007. "Growth on 2001 was largely due to the raft of new products introduced and the migration of product ranges up the megapixel curve," said Paul Withington, senior research analyst for IDC's European Peripherals research group. "Most vendors effectively deserted the 1 megapixel segment in 2002, as the 2 megapixel became the sweetspot," he continued. IDC predicts that as prices drop further the 3 megapixel will become the next honeypot in 2003 as this level of resolution is widely regarded as being able to offer 10 x 15cm photographs of equal quality to those taken on the average analog camera.

The transition from analog to digital photography is having a very positive effect on the adjacent markets of photo quality inkjet printers and the home PC. Indeed, at this time it is a case of these markets helping to drive each other. IDC believes that digital camera ownership is closely tied to PC ownership and will remain so in the short term. The home penetration rate for the PC is currently 34% and is forecast to rise steadily to over 40% in 2007, which would certainly help power the growth in digital cameras.

However, there are other factors that are positively affecting the market, the most important being industry standards. The development of many new technologies in the early days is hampered by lack of compatibility between vendor's products. The launch of the PictBridge standard, which came about earlier this year following an agreement between the key players of Canon, Fujifilm, HP, Olympus, Seiko Epson, and Sony, was long overdue and will now allow for the direct printing of images from any camera to any printer without the need for a PC. It is this type of industry cooperation that is crucial in helping the market free itself from its ties to the PC, and which will extend the ease of use of these devices and further promote their penetration into the mass market.

Vendor Performance Highlights
Canon. As is apparent, Canon performed very well in 2002 and leapt from fourth place in 2001 to take the number 1 spot quite convincingly. This performance is reflective of how the Japanese vendor performed globally, although missing out on the number one spot in the U.S. and Japan, Canon did report that it had doubled its shipments year on year in those regions.

Fuji. Taking number 2 position in the market, Fujifilms' strength as a global leader in the camera and photo processing market has enabled the vendor positive placement within the digital arena. The Fuji brand is synonymous in the photo market with pictures for the consumer right through the spectrum to the professional.

Sony. Sony, at number 3, is the only non-photo-oriented company present to make the top 5. As a hugely successful consumer electronics company, Sony has done an excellent job of transferring its brand into digital imaging. Olympus. Olympus, in fourth position, has a strong brand in photography, which it has carried over into the digital world with success. Its product range is wide and spans the consumer and commercial segments.

Kodak. Kodak is one of the world's best known brand names and the company has been blessed with fantastic brand loyalty over its years in the analog business. In fifth position, Kodak's digital business is following suit and the company is well regarded in the marketplace for its digital products.

IDC's study, Western European Digital Camera Market Forecast and Analysis, 2003-2007 (IDC #SR04K, August 2003) explores the digital camera market, its key players and emerging technologies and assesses impacts for the wider peripherals market on developments within this industry. For more information on this study contact senior research analyst Paul Withington on +44 (0) 20 8987 7239, email Alternatively, contact your local IDC office or visit

About IDC
IDC is the premier global market intelligence and advisory firm in the information technology and telecommunications industries.  We analyze and predict technology trends so that our clients can make strategic, fact-based decisions on IT purchases and business strategy.  Over 700 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide local expertise and insights on technology markets.  Business executives and IT managers have relied for 40 years on our advice to make decisions that contribute to the success of their organizations.

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August 14, 2003
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