Recent Mystifying Nikon Quotes

(commentary)

I didn’t say it, they did.

"'It has, although it's certainly not up to our total expectations,' Nikon senior technical manager Steve Heiner tells The Verge when asked whether the 1 series has performed well. 'I think we had bigger expectations. The problem is that we introduced this into a market where there were competitors.’ Verge

Really? Competition is a problem? Does Nikon expect to play football without an opposing team on the field? Products don’t live in vacuums. You need to make them compelling enough so that people put their money in your pocket, not someone else’s. MBA 101. 

"Heiner says that Nikon 'doubled the market just by entering it' in 2011, and believes the series has greater potential.” Same Verge article.

I love the disingenuousness of this assertion if read as printed. You see, there’s no way to fact check it, as CIPA didn’t measure mirrorless camera shipments in 2011. The first full year we have numbers for is 2012 ;~). The next interesting bit is that the Nikon 1 wasn’t introduced until September of 2011, so Heiner would be basically asserting that Nikon 1 sales in three months equaled everyone else’s sales for the full year (that would be Leica, Olympus, Panasonic, Ricoh, Samsung, and Sony combined). If we look at 2012 shipment data, we see that Nikon wasn’t doubling the market in that year ;~). Nikon’s market share in Japan, the market with the biggest mirrorless uptake, was 8% in 2012. 

Now it could be that Heiner is referring to the US market only. After all, he works for NikonUSA. Total mirrorless shipments into the US was 743k in 2012. It’s entirely possible that Nikon 1 cameras were half that number given how many stores Nikon put it into (virtually all Big Box stores, including Target, as well as camera stores), though they didn’t sell very fast. If Heiner were referring to the US market only, then shame on Verge for not asking a clarifying question and in printing something that will be misinterpreted by almost anyone reading it.

Finally: greater potential than 50% of the market? That’s what the quote says. Somehow I doubt that that’s what Steve meant. I suspect he was guilty of throwing multiple not-totally-clear thoughts into a sentence (doubled US market in 2011, has more potential for sales than current volume suggests) and Verge just published that without challenging or clarifying.

"Nikon brought in seventeen of the Nikon USA Ambassadors (two had dates conflict and were sorely missed) for a whirlwind 36hrs summit to talk about, YOU! Yep, not a camera or lens was shown or talked about (on full disclosure, we did get our sensors cleaned), barely heard a mention of a feature even. Instead, the Ambassadors, a powerfully creative and deeply touched group (take that as you will) sat in meetings for two days talking about how we can further our passion for photography through teaching and outreach even more.” Moose Peterson

The latest craze at the Japanese camera companies seems to be “maybe if we teach people more about photography they’ll buy more cameras.” In the UK, for example, Canon apparently is offering a free class with every DSLR purchase. But really? You gather your most influential shooters together and you don’t spend any time digging to see if maybe there’s something at the hardware/software end missing that might help them? You as Ambassador have the ear of Iwaoka-san, the one person at NikonUSA who can almost certainly influence what’s happening in Japan, and you don’t talk about cameras or have any suggestions to make? Seems like a missed opportunity to me.



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