Even the Economy Can’t Hurt Digital Camera Sales
This time, last year the camera department at the local Best Buy store was probably a lonely place. Last year, the Retrevo Pulse, a publicly-available index that maps daily price and demand trends in the consumer electronics industry across 40 categories and more than 4,000 products, logged a sharp decline in demand for digital cameras from late summer of ‘08 right up to Black Friday of ‘08. This year, we were surprised to see that despite economic hard times, demand for digital cameras has held its ground.
Retrevo Demand Index shows a significant dip in demand in '08 that is not present this year.
Consumers Will Pay for Innovation
The current digital camera Pulse data shows camera prices have held steady while demand has risen. So if it’s not lower prices, what has been driving demand for cameras? A recent Retrevo’s Pulse Report may have an answer. It concluded that consumers were willing to pay for innovative products rather than react to discounts and price drops for older models. In other words, consumers are willing to pay the going rate for cameras with innovative features like face technology, image stabilization, higher resolutions, HD video, larger displays and more compact packaging. Further supporting this theory is the fact that robust demand for cameras is holding its own even in the face of competition from Smartphones and or “Camera phones,” that incorporate high megapixel cameras.
Retrevo price index shows very little variation in ASP for over a year.
Last year's demand for digital cameras may have been abnormally pronounced due the collapsing economy but demand is normally slow during the period between summer and holiday buying season. However, despite a continuing weak economy this year, we see unusually strong demand for digital cameras particularly compact cameras. The demand trend also indicates this very healthy digital camera market which should persist right through the holiday buying season. Furthermore, Retrevo predicts a very strong holiday sales for compact, point and shoot, digital cameras.
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