High-end digital cameras have caught the fancy of Indian consumers following a 25-30% price cut by manufacturers in the face of stiff competition. 4&5 mega pixel (high resolution) cameras have now become the entry level purchase against the 2 or 3 mega pixel cameras which till recently accounted for 65% of total sales. The organised market has spurred digital camera sales which is expected to account for 60% of the total 7.44 lakh units this year. Price cuts and after-sales service have also helped the organised sector scale up volumes thereby killing the grey market.
Manufacturers are driving sales by highlighting attractive product features and affordability. And, camera manufacturers such as Samsung, Canon, Kodak and Sony are all aggressively launching competitively priced models to get a fair share of the growing market. Industry sources indicate that Chinese and Taiwanese firms are also exploring opportunities to enter the country and launch competitively priced models. Prices of digital cameras range from Rs 6000 to Rs 50,000. Kodak currently tops the US digital-camera market followed by Canon and Sony.
“Continuous product innovation, range enhancement by manufacturers and the growing product affordability has seen a price drop of around 30% in digital camera prices this year,” said R Zutshi, deputy MD of Samsung India. Camera manufacturers are enhancing their presence in this category by tapping both the existing consumer electronic channels as well as strengthening their presence in the photographic channel. Manufacturers are helping the existing analog consumers to upgrade to digital cameras by offering attractive features and pricing, industry sources said. Already the digital camera sales have overtaken analog (conventional) sales this year. Digital cameras, which are all imported into the country are being targeted primarily at the youth, which is a growing category, sources said. The built-in storage chip in an entry level digital camera can have a capacity ranging from 2-6 mb , and can store around 50-100 small resolution pictures.
“The Indian consumer is moving from the casual clicker to the serious type with increased attention to higher mega pixels, zoom and other high-end features. As it is observed in the world of technology trends and consumer habits, due to the increasing pace of technological upgrades, one is able to offer better features at the same price. This is true of all technology products and devices,” Ravi Karamcheti, MD and country business manager - film & photofinishing
Systems group and consumer digital imaging group, Kodak India. Incidentally one of the top 10 predictions by IDC for the year '06 is the year of the digital home revolution with 100% growth expected in digital camera shipments.
The digital camera sales in India is expected to touch 7.44 lakh units this year and 12.48 lakh units in '07.
India is expected to have the highest sales growth in the world in digital cameras in the coming years, sources said. Volumes may be low, but the growth is expected to be phenomenal as the penetration levels are still low. Till '03, the market for digital cameras in India stood at 1 lakh units as against 30 lakh units of conventional cameras,” industry sources said.