More Canon Negativity on the Market

Canon today posted the results from the first quarter of this year, along with their revised expectations for 2019. 

Let's look at things quarter by quarter for the past few years:

bythom canon quarterly

The orange lines are the unit volume for ILC (DSLRs and mirrorless), the yellow lines are for compact cameras. The solid line is the actual quarterly results, while the dotted line is the linear trend line.

The eyebrow raiser in Canon's new projections for 2019 was this: total ILC market is projected at 8.6 million units, with Canon shipping 4.2 million of those (49%) market share. Note that CIPA's forecast earlier this year was 10m units. Somewhere between that and Canon's new statement the market appears to have shrunk 14%. Given that Canon is about half of the market, any assessment of weakness in shipments they claim has to be taken very seriously. I'm not aware of any other company in CIPA that would have forecast increases in sales that would make up for Canon's decreases. Not even close.

As for DSLRs versus mirrorless, Canon made four statements on that you should be aware of:

  • "...accelerated market contraction for DSLRs, in particular entry-level models..."
  • "...we will steadily shift our focus from DSLR to mirrorless cameras..."
  • "...we grew our unit sales of mirrorless cameras at a pace far exceeding the overall market..."
  • "...the level of camera inventory was high due to a slowdown in sales of mainly DSLRs. We will work to bring this down to an appropriate level as soon as possible..."

So. The battleship is in the process of changing its direction. DSLRs were the past course, mirrorless is the future course. In between, of course, it takes a long while for a battleship to actually make its turn. That's where we are right now, in the process of the turn.

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