Global shipments of digital still cameras will fall 12.5 percent this year due to the popularization of smartphone cameras and the economic downturn, Digitimes Research predicted yesterday.
According to the research firm, the low and middle-end digital camera market is being squeezed by smartphone cameras, with consumers increasingly relying on their phones to snap pictures.
Digitimes Research predicted 106 million low and middle-end digital cameras would be shipped worldwide this year, down 12.5 percent from last year.
The research firm also expected Canon Inc to become the world’s biggest digital camera vendor this year, with shipments expected to surpass those of current global leader Sony Corp.
Sony’s shipments are expected to fall 15 percent from a year earlier to fewer than 18 million units, while Canon’s shipments should edge lower by only 1 percent.
Nikon Corp, the only digital camera maker expected to see positive shipment growth this year, is forecast to snatch the No. 3 spot from South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co, the research firm said.
Meanwhile, shipments from Taiwan-based digital camera makers such as Canon Inc Taiwan and Altek Corp (華晶科), who make cameras mainly for Sony and Samsung, are expected to drop 21 percent from a year earlier on declining sales and the exit of Kodak from the consumer photography market.
Those weaker sales may push the global market share for Taiwanese digital camera makers down to 41 percent this year, according to Digitimes Research.