Nikon Upcoming Products Could Be "Non-Camera" Products To Survive Smartphone Onslaught

Nikon Upcoming Products Could Be "Non-Camera" Products

It's no secret the compact camera market is taking a beating. Yes, people are taking more photos than ever, but not on dedicated point-and-shoots. Increasingly they're reaching for their smartphone when a photographic opportunity arises.

“The number of people taking snapshots is exploding by use of smartphones that sold 750 million or so last year and are still growing,” Kimura said. “We’ve centralized our ideas around cameras but can change our approach to offer products to that bigger market,  hinting at the possibility of a smartphone by saying the company is considering a "non-camera consumer product.”

“Rapid expansion of mobile devices is a change in business environment given to us,” Kimura said. “Our task going forward is to find an answer to that change.”

Point-and-shoot camera sales across the industry dropped about a quarter in April and May from a year earlier, President Makoto Kimura said in a July 4 interview at Nikon’s Tokyo headquarters, citing third-party research. Smartphone shipments jumped 46 percent last year to 722 million units, according to Framingham, Massachusetts-based IDC Corp.

Though demand is still growing for higher-end interchangeable lens cameras, Kimura added that "Nikon’s imaging division and a new business team is developing products that will change the concept of cameras,” said Kimura. “It could be a non-camera consumer product.” The president declined to say if the company was developing a mobile phone.

But that's not going to stop people speculating that Kimura's comments can only mean Nikon is working on a camera-focused smartphone. And given its experience of putting Android in a camera, it does seem entirely possible.

However, it's also possible the firm could offer products to the smartphone market without producing its own handsets. For example, Nikon could use its imaging knowledge to produce photographic-centric smartphone accessories, such as add-on lenses and flashes, or camera apps. It could even make wearable cameras to pair with your smartphone for when that device is in your pocket.
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Write by: RC - Sunday, July 14, 2013

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