Industry analysts at IDC (part of the same group as PC Advisor) are predicting that digital camera shipments will fall in 2011. Corporate brother though it is, I must disagree with its preposterous suggestion that the market is "saturated". Haven't you heard of China?
IDC says that global shipments of digital cameras rose 15 per cent last year, but growth is expected to slow to 8 per cent in 2007, and the market will start to shrink in 2011.
I can't see how the market will "shrink". Do digital cameras last forever? Don't people who already have digital cameras replace them occasionally, doesn't Tesco sell ones for the price of a bottle of whisky and two cans of baked beans, is Christmas to be abolished, will Flickr flicker?
The digital-camera market will shrink only if the cameras in mobile phones aren't described as digital cameras any more.
It's the mobile phone that is affecting the sale of standalone compact digital cameras. As megapixels rise, so even hardened digital snappers start to leave their Canons, Nikons and Fujifilms at home.
Apple realised that phones such as Sony's Walkman might just bite into its iPod digital music player market, and so designed the iPhone (which also includes a rather feeble 2-megapixel camera).
So where's all the phones from Olympus and Kodak? Maybe Samsung (the fifth biggest player in the digital camera market, and the only mobile phone maker to post sequential and year-over-year increases in its cell sales) is the dark horse to take over the market in the next few years.