Compact cameras have become less favorable in Vietnam, while they now have big redoubtable rivals – mobile phones and professional photography equipments.
The year end sale season began two weeks ago, but Power Shot brand cameras have been selling very slowly. A representative of The Gioi Di Dong, a well known electronics and digital equipment distributor, said that the sales in November were just a bit higher than 20 percent, which was lower than that of one or two years ago.
Meanwhile, other distribution networks said that though small size cameras still have been selling better than digital single-lens reflex camera (DSRL). However, the gap in the sales of the two kinds has narrowed.
The number of compact cameras displayed on the shelves at supermarkets and electronics centers has been decreasing. Canon still has been selling its products in different market segments, while Sony has been selling W-series only, its best sellers. Similarly, Nikon now only puts two models on sale.
Meanwhile, since April 2011, Panasonic has not introduced any new equipment. Samsung, which has joined the domestic market recently, does not import compact cameras in a massive scale like it did in previous years. Now there are only four models available on the market.
Khoan Minh Huy, a senior executive of The Gioi Di Dong, said that the global economic crisis is one of the important reasons that make distributors reduce the imports. The imported compact cameras are only the best models which allow distributors to avoid big stocks, when they have to borrow money from banks at high interest rates.
Meanwhile, Minh said, the historical floods in Thailand have made the supplies of Canon, Sony or Nikon products become shorter.
The slowdown in the sales of compact cameras began earlier this year. Nguyen Van Long, the owner of Long Camera Shop on Hai Ba Trung Street in district 1 of HCM City, said that the appearance of iPhone and other smart phones which allow to take pictures well has led to the sharp fall of the sales of compact cameras.
“In 2011, a lot of models of smart phones with 8 megapixel cameras were launched into the market. They have very high quality of photography which is in no way worse than point-and-shot,” Long said.
While the customers at big home appliance centers pay less attention to compact cameras, the customers at camera shops now tend to buy DSLR.
Ba Thi, a salesman of a shop on Le Loi Street in district 1 of HCM City, said that the number of DSLR buyers has been increasing. Those, who want to have good pictures would choose SLR, while young people like to take pictures with smart phones which allows to obtain strange effects and post on Facebook or other social networks more quickly.
Thi has noted that a lot of compact camera models of Samsung and Canon have been improved to have similar functions as smart phones, such as touch screen.
However, Huy thinks that it is still too early to say that smart phones will influence the market share of compact cameras. He said that the smart phones which allow having good pictures are always very expensive, while compact cameras still have certain advantages.
“Popular consumers still choose to buy compact cameras, especially when the products are getting cheaper which more fit people’s pockets,” Huy said.
In the world, according to NPD Group, compact cameras have seen the revenue down by 18 percent in the first 11 months of 2011. The products’ market share would drop from 52 percent to 44 percent in 2012, while the figure of smart phones would jump from 17 percent to 27 percent.
The compact camera market is believed to see high growth after the 2012 New Year celebration. At the shops in HCM City, low priced cameras of Canon, or W-series of Sony and W800 of Samsung prove to be the best sellers.
Source: VnExpress/ VNN
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