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In an article published by the Nikkei news, Canon’s president Fujio Mitarai talks about the future of the camera business and where it’s heading over the next couple of years.
Canon thinks that the camera market will shrink another 50% over the next 2 years, which is changing some strategies at Canon on how to deal with the change in the marketplace.
- Canon’s camera sales have declined 10% a year over the last few years.
- The global market for interchangeable lens cameras is about 10 million units a year.
- Mirrorless camera sales are not adding to the market, they’re merely replacing DSLR sales. This is likely why Canon and Nikon waited so long to enter the full frame mirrorless segment. Putting forth the R&D to cannibalize yourself probably gets the bean counters in a tizzy.
- Canon will shift its business to more corporate sales than consumer retail sales
- Canon obviously recognizes what Smartphones have done to the sales of entry-level cameras, but Canon thinks they’ll continue to sell 5-6 million prosumer and professional cameras once we’ve reached the bottom of the decline.
- Canon will focus more on industrial, surveillance and medical imaging.
All of this points to an amalgamation of DSLR lines to offset the additional EOS R system cameras that are coming. This also tells us that Canon isn’t likely in any sort of rush to get 3-4 EOS R cameras to the marketplace, especially when the market is still declining.
I believe this is a worst-case scenario that Canon is strategizing for and that innovation and great new products are still coming over the next few years.