Smartphones drive down digital camera sales in Singapore: GfK

  • Digital still camera sales down except for mirrorless cameras, which went up 2.6%
  • WiFi-enabled mirrorless camera sales surged by over 400% in last one year

Smartphones drive down digital camera sales in Singapore: GfKCOMPACT system cameras, also known as mirrorless cameras, turned in a positive performance in 2013, garnering 2.6% growth in volume sales over 2012 amidst a downsizing trend in the overall digital still camera (DSC) market in Singapore.
Consumers here bought some 425,000 digital still cameras in total, significantly less by over 100,000 compared to a year ago, bringing the local market down by some 26% in total value to reach US$179 million, according to market research firm GfK Asia.
“As smartphone ownership continues to deeply penetrate the population, many of its users do not see the need to get a separate dedicated point-and-shoot camera,” said Gerard Tan, account director for Digital World at GfK Asia.
“At the same time, the camera technology in smartphones has been improving over the time, with some of the latest models possessing the capability to photograph images that are just as high in quality,” he added.
The mirrorless camera is the only DSC segment that bucked the general downtrend, managing to turn in 2.6% growth in volume sales. In 2013, over 53,000 units of such cameras were purchased by consumers in the country, increasing their share of market size by 4% to 13%.
“Discerning users who recognise the high-tech functions and additional capabilities of mirrorless cameras over smartphones see the value of owning a separate device that can capture good quality photos,” said Tan.
“For instance, mirrorless cameras allow for the usage of special lenses to snap various types of images and moods – something smartphones simply cannot achieve well,” he added.
The proliferation of the Internet and widespread usage of social media has made the WiFi feature in cameras increasingly sought after these days as consumers see the convenience of being able to directly upload pictures without needing to connect to a computer.
WiFi-enabled mirrorless cameras, in particular, have surged in sales since their first introduction in May 2012. These models, which sold some 4,000 units within that year, quickly gained consumer acceptance and sold over 22,000 units in 2013.
The total number of models available in the market increased from five to 22 within this period, accounting for 42% of all mirrorless cameras.
“The average selling price of mirrorless cameras has dropped significantly due to competitive promotional activities by key brands, as well as a numerous new models being launched in the market,” said Tan.
“Even though the camera market faces uncertainties, the popularity of WiFi-enabled mirrorless cameras is anticipated to continue appealing to consumers as they become more and more affordable,” he added.
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