IDC Takes Snapshot of European Digital Camera ‘Mass-Market’

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — 10/18/1999 — With falling prices and increasing quality and resolution, digital cameras have begun to attract the attention of the average consumer in Western Europe. International Data Corporation (IDC) believes this market is moving from the early-adopter stage to the mass-market stage. Sales are expected to reach 616,000 units in 1999 and more than 4 million by 2003, with revenues climbing from $321 million to $981 million over the same period.

There are several major reasons for growth in Europe. "The ever- increasing installed base of PCs in Western Europe can only increase the size of the target market for digital cameras," said Mick Heys, Expertise Centre manager of IDC's European Printers and Digital Image Peripherals research program.

"In addition, the introduction of high-quality personal photo capable printers are making digital cameras more appealing to European consumers." Costs of camera sensors, chipsets, and turnkey solutions have also decreased, and with the introduction of systems-on-a-chip, the overall cost of cameras has been greatly reduced, making them more attractive, especially in a time of greater economic prosperity.

The introduction of 2-megapixel (MP) cameras this year will also have several significant effects on the European market. The first, and most important, is that the price points of 1MP digital cameras will be pushed to mass-market levels ($300 to $600). Second, the availability of 2MP cameras in the consumer segment will attract buyers from the small business community who will no longer be forced to pay professional prices for digital functionality. Third, as the consumer resolution range widens, digital camera vendors will be able to offer a more robust selection of quality digital cameras.

"The introduction of the 2MP models will drive prices downward across the market, which, in turn, will drive the shipments of single-megapixel cameras upward," said Kevin Kane, an analyst with IDC's U.S. Digital Camera market research program. "IDC expects to see a variety of megapixel digital cameras available for under $500 by this holiday season."

Western European Digital Camera Market Review and Forecast, 1997-2003 (IDC #KP11FB) provides a comprehensive view of the Western European market for digital still cameras at every level of price point and functionality. As well as a strategic overview, this study also contains 1997 and 1998 unit shipments and revenue and 1999-2003 forecasts by country and technology. An analysis of key trends, growth promoters and inhibitors, category outlook, and competitive dynamics are included. This report is available to purchase from your local IDC office.

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