Thu, Jul 03, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Digital camera show opens Friday

By Annabel Lue  /  STAFF REPORTER

With the 4th Taipei Multimedia Show set to kick off at the Taipei World Trade Center tomorrow, vendors are boasting they can draw in the crowds with significant discounts on a variety of digital gadgets.

"We plan to slash prices on high-end digital cameras by up to NT$4,000 at the show," said Tsai Wen-yi (蔡文怡), a local sales agent associated with US-based Cannon Inc.

Price of the company's best-selling digital camera, the Canon PowerShot A40 with 3-megapixel resolution, has been cut from NT$18,500 to NT$14,488.

Not only regarded as a good opportunity for consumers to hunt for bargains, for most retailers, the consumer show is a chance to push inventories.

According to Tsai, most Cannon items discounted in the show are last year models.

Another market veteran said the short product life cycle of digital cameras' is forcing retailers to cut prices in order to stimulate demand.

"Prices [of digital cameras] are expected to drop at least NT$1,000 every quarter," said Chen His-le (陳喜樂), president of Dan Fwu Trading Co (丹福貿易), a local distributor for South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co.

The company plans to offer a 20 percent discount and cut its Samsung Digimax-V4 camera by NT$4,000 to NT$16,900.

The nation's love for taking photos is expected to boost demand for digital cameras.

Last year, Taiwanese snapped up nearly 30,000 digital cameras. That figure is expected to jump 33 percent to 48,000 units this year, according to Chen.

Market demand is on the rise as digital cameras as manufactures offer a wide-range of models with better picture quality.

Mainstream models -- with 3 or 4-megapixel resolution -- retail for NT$10,000 and NT$15,000, while last year similar products were priced at NT$20,000, Chen said.

The higher number of pixels a digital camera has, the better resolution it displays.

Chen is confident with the market outlook.

"By year-end, Taiwan's digital camera penetration rate is expected to reach only 10 percent ? therefore there is still a lot of room to expand," Chen said.

He made the remarks yesterday at a pre-show media briefing for the annual Taipei Multimedia Show.

A total of 200 companies are going to set up 350 booths, featuring digital cameras, home entertainment equipment as well as computers.

"Last year the show attracted 15,000 visitors and this time we hope to reach 18,000," said Walter Chang (張耀水), a manager at Top Link International Exhibition Co (上聯國際), organizer of the show.

This is the first consumer electronics show held after the SARS epidemic and therefore we expect to see stronger consumption power, he added.

"People are now ready to go out and spend," Chang said.

The four-day show will open tomorrow from 10am to 6pm at Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall I and run through Monday.

Admission is NT$150. A NT$50 coupon is being distributed for free at 7-Eleven stores in the Greater Taipei area.

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