According to a recent report from IDC, the fourth quarter of 2006 was the first quarter in which the digital camera category experienced a decline in unit shipments, though the dip was a mere 3 percent from Q4 2005. IDC reported that the market actually grew approximately 5 percent for the year in 2006 to 29.8 million units – including the revived DSLR category. IDC attributed this in large part to continued price drops as well as strong rebates. The breakdown confirmed the robust growth the DSLR category is seeing as over 1.7 million of the units sold were DSLRs, adding that the figure would likely hit 2 million in 2007.
As for the market share numbers of individual digicam manufacturers, both IDC and NPD released their 2006 figures for the digital camera industry and Kodak, Canon and Sony remain the categories’ top three players. Both firms include sales of DSLRs in their 2006 figures.
IDC, which tracks shipments to retail, listed Canon as the number one digital camera brand with 20 percent of the market, followed by Sony at 17 percent and Kodak at 16 percent. The top five was rounded out with Nikon at 10 percent and, in what many consider a bit of a surprise, HP at 7 percent.
NPD actually tracks retail sell-through, so their numbers had Kodak in the top spot with 19 percent of the unit volume, followed by Canon at 18 percent and Sony at 12 percent. Nikon (7.5 percent) and HP (5 percent) remained fourth and fifth.
Beyond the top five, Casio, Samsung and Panasonic all showed double the growth they enjoyed in 2005 showing the category’s brand diversity is strong. The numbers also show that Nikon had a strong year over 200, particularly in the DSLR category with 20 percent of their Q4 sales wrapped up in this segment.
The other interesting news within the IDC report was their claim that 85 percent of those who purchased a digital camera in 2006 were repeat buyers, buying second and third digital cameras, many of which purchased a DSLR for the first time.