U.S.: Digital cameras lose luster

Prospects for the once booming digital camera market dimmed in the third quarter of 2001 and will likely stay that way in the fourth quarter, research firm IDC said in a report released Wednesday. Erosion of the U.

Prospects for the once booming digital camera market dimmed in the third quarter of 2001 and will likely stay that way in the fourth quarter, research firm IDC said in a report released Wednesday.

Erosion of the U.S. market for cameras priced under $100 and lower-than-expected growth in sales of mid-range and high-end cameras led to a 20 percent decline in shipments compared with the same quarter last year. Overall, manufacturers shipped 1.8 million units to the United States in the third quarter, and total U.S. shipments for the year will be about 7.6 million units, according to IDC.

The major blow in the third quarter was the drastic decline in shipments of sub-$100 cameras. Manufacturers shipped only 300,000 sub-$100 cameras, down from 1 million units in the same quarter last year.

Market share did not change in the top three spots. Sony was the third-quarter leader with 18 percent of the market, followed by Hewlett-Packard and Olympus, each accounting for 12 percent of the market. --Richard Shim, ZDNet News

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