The units shipped in 2013 show the distinct pattern of two main sales periods. Firstly the spring to summer peak (northern hemisphere) and the winter holiday period. The Americas and Asian markets have a more pronounced double peak whereas Europe also has a more traditional summer holiday peak that evens out the sales as a more progressive gradient up to Christmas.
In line with the varying holiday season the Americas market peaks sooner with Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Europe focuses more on Christmas whereas Asian markets peak into January with their main New Year holiday festivals. This must be very useful to the main Digital Camera manufacturers as they can schedule a more even production to cope with these peak periods and get their stocks made and shipped.
From a importance perspective Europe and the Americas vie to be the biggest markets but Asian markets added to Japan also produce an equivalent market share. This means Digital Camera sales are heavily dependent for sales on both established and emerging markets. Lets see where this led to in the following years.
Total market value figures follow closely the unit sales as we would expect. It's not until we look at trends and average unit costs that the figures shed a little more light.
During 2014 the Digital Camera unit shipments followed the familiar seasonal trend. The main difference is the continued decline in unit numbers. This decline has been apparent both globally and in each geographical zone. We will look at each zone in due course.
Comparing monthly shipments against the previous year outlines just how big a drop in the overall market 2014 has seen. This is also a consistent decline that would worry any business owner or shareholder. Would it continue into 2015? If so when would the decline be reversed if at all?
The drop in total value looks the very similar but on closer inspection the drop in total revenue has not declined by nearly as much as units shipped. Again this is in Yen value and doesn't necessarily tell the whole story when currency fluctuations are taken into account.
Compared with the drop in unit shipments the change in total value looks somewhat better.
The market for Digital Cameras has not improved into 2015 but there are signs that the overall market is leveling off. The recent decline in Asian markets is suppressing this recovery at the moment. This trend of leveling unit shipments is best seen in the next section.
Well 2015 showed a slowing in the decline but hardly positive territory. Things were looking good up to July but then another reversal. A poor end to the year has spoiled any recovery. Too early to tell if the industry is 'out of the woods' yet. Better news may come when we look at the value, different types and zone analysis.
The overall value of camera shipments has fluctuated much more over the year. This is especially the case when looking at the Asian market. Currency fluctuations are likely exacerbating the problem.
In June and July they actually hit some positive territory. Sound the horns. Just a bit premature as we finish the year with some really steep declines.
This graph shows the 12 month moving average of Global Digital Camara units shipped. We can clearly see the steep decline during 2014 with a continuing steady decline through 2015. Camera manufacturers will be hoping this decline is near the bottom but a bad end to the year just keeps pushing the lines lower and lower. We will look at geo-sectors and camera types to get a better understanding of where this decline has been worst. First we will look at global shipments by value to see if this has shown the same decline as unit shipments.
A similar decline in overall value has been seen across the global market from 2013 onwards. This decline has been most prominent in the European and Americas markets whilst Asian markets have so far held up well. This appears to be under question as we see the Asian markets take a turn for the worse and the last quarter of 2015 has not been good. Overall the total market value has leveled out in 2015. These figures are in Japanese Yen so there may be a different story to tell when we look at the figures in local currency.
At first look the average unit value figures seem to show a healthy rise in value. Unfortunately as the currency weighted chart shows this has been largely down to the devaluation of the Japanese Yen over the last few years. Only the Asian market has shown a real increase in average unit value. Again showing how vulnerable the manufacturers are to a downturn in the Asian market. The European market has definitely had enough of rising prices and always paying a premium for goods above American or Asian Markets.
From a unit sales perspective Europe is the biggest market for cameras. It is not however the most important in terms of sales value. However as each sale of a system camera may lead to sales of additional lenses and other accessories it may lead to further sales down the line. The value of sales in Europe has definitely declined in the past few years.
When we look at camera sales from a total value perspective we can see how important the Asian market has become over the last few years. Clearly the biggest zone for overall sales value. This shows how big a problem a downturn in the Asian market would be for the major camera manufacturers.
The digital camera market started 2015 with hopes of a change of fortune with global economies stabilizing, better employment and a more positive outlook. The first half of the year must have given further hope that this was the case. Sadly the second half was not to be so positive. A return to falling unit sales although average unit cost has risen as more buyers opt for quality. The Japanese and European markets held up better than Asia or the Americas. Given the US economic growth rate this must be a worrying sign.