Sony gears for compact click war
India - Consumer electronics major Sony, a leader in the 3.2-million-unit compact camera market, with a share of 40%, is ready with a new line of products for the summer, a period crucial for digital camera makers.
Number two and three players Nikon and Canon with a market share of 25% and 15% respectively have already launched their new products for the season a month in advance, using Bollywood actors Priyanka Chopra and Anushka Sharma as brand ambassadors.
They have a clear advantage, therefore, said market experts, of having started early.
"Just look at the aggressive advertising & marketing by the two players. They have left no stone unturned in suggesting to consumers that they are the apt choice this summer," Harish Bijoor, chief executive officer, Harish Bijoor Consults, said about Nikon and Canon's initiatives.
Sony officials hardly appear thrilled at being checkmated in this manner but remain unfazed.
"You can expect us to take all possible measures to defend our leadership position," Tadato Kimura, general manager, marketing, Sony India, said.
Last year, Sony was the first to get started, with almost 30 new models on offer. This year, persons in the know say the Japanese giant is likely to launch a similar number, as it looks to dwarf competition with its new range.
Nikon had launched 18 new models of its CoolPix brand of compact cameras last month, while Canon launched six to 10 new models of its Powershot brand of digital cameras in early April.
While Sony may get a leg-up with the sheer choice it is likely to give consumers, market experts say pricing may do it in. Nikon has been most aggressive this summer, pegging its entry-level models at an affordable Rs 4,990, or SG$120. Canon's entry-level is Rs 5,995, while Sony is likely to start at Rs 5,490 for a basic model.
But most players, said market experts, are beginning to pack more for less as consumers lap up these products. Cameras, for instance, are gradually becoming slimmer and sleeker and are now available in different colours, they say.
Canon refurbished its advertising earlier this month, in an attempt to make its products exciting to the 18-25 years target group. Nikon has been using Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra since last year to drive home its message of being a cool and happening product, while actress Deepika Padukone came on board as brand ambassador of Cyber-shot in 2010.
- Sony Electronics
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