On a camera industry podcast, industry expert Heino Hibig talks about the sudden “bump-down” of the digital camera market in 2009, and argues it is not about the adoption of cameraphones. Why does he think that, and if it is not about the cameraphone, then what is about then? (Link)
Hibig claims a deep statistical dive into the data shows there is no correlation between smartphone growth and camera decline. It is not about technology being replaced.
His argument is that the curve does not resemble a saturation curve and does not follow smartphone adoption either.
Instead, he argues, it is about the way that smartphones have changed user expectations around devices. Consumers find cameras and SmartTVs too complex and counterintuitive. He talks about the lack of a standardized “roll format”, for example, and the persistent use of camera-specific management software.
If this is true, then the path forward, he argues, is to stop saying “the smartphone took our business” and look at the ways that cameras can start falling in line with consumer expectations and also investigate the ways that the industry can work together on standardization. As an example of something in the past that worked he cites the move in the 1990s to computer readable SD cards which suddenly made digital cameras easy to use compared to lengthy custom import processes. Cooperation of this type could change the prospects of the industry.