Digicams Stay Hot as Holiday Gift

Digicams Stay Hot as Holiday Gift


According to several post-holiday season research reports, digital cameras remained one of the hottest holiday gifts within the consumer electronics category for 2006. While not exactly a shock, the news is a bit of a surprise based on projections from earlier this year that the category would experience a slowdown as 2006 came to a close.

According to NPD, unit shipments of digital cameras rose 24 percent through the end of November, which includes “Black Friday” sales and the traditional first week of the holiday shopping season. The research firm added that similar sales last year grew by 22 percent.

“The market is actually growing, with a combination of people buying for the second or third time, and first time buyers really gunning it (growth),” said NPD senior imaging analyst Liz Cutting.

Yet another report, from ChangeWave Research, claims that while 79 percent of those surveyed already owned a digital camera, nearly one-fifth expressed a desire to buy a point-and-shoot or compact camera within 90 days and 7 percent were interested in DSLR.

Those that follow this market most closely claim that price drops are fueling the surge pointing to eth fact that a typical 6 megapixel camera can be had for approximately $150, about half its price from a year ago.

NPD tells us that over 30 million digital cameras will be sold this year, double that of 2003, and almost 5 million more than were sold in 2005 (25.2 million). But, as is to be expected, due to lower prices, revenue growth has slipped, with total sales in dollars up only 12 percent in the first 11 months of the year, down from 19 percent growth last year.

The ChangeWave report also included information on digital media claiming that nearly half of all digital camera owners surveyed use a SanDisk memory card, trailed by Lexar at 16 percent, Kingston at 10 percent and Sony at nine percent.

CAPTION: New models like the Nikon D40 have helped the digital camera market sustain growth into 2007.