U.S. digital camera sales in the first half of 2002 grew 50 percent from the previous year, with Canon making significant market share gains, according to researcher IDC.
Shipments of point-and-shoot digital cameras (those with color viewing screens) surpassed 2 million units for the second quarter and 3.5 million for the first half of the year.
Market share leaders for the first half were the usual trio of Sony, Olympus and Kodak, with 24 percent, 17 percent and 13 percent, respectively.
Second-quarter market share tallies showed some movement, though, with Canon climbing into third place with 12 percent of the market. This is the first time Canon, usually associated with higher-end cameras, has broken into the top five, according to IDC, which credited the boost to the introduction of slim, reasonably priced new models such as the Elph S200.
The majority of sales growth continues to be in the $200 to $400 range, where cameras are offering high resolution and more advanced features, including docking cradles and other technology intended to simplify printing and sharing of photos.
"Prices are expected to further decrease as vendors clamor for market share" during the holiday shopping season, IDC analyst Chris Chute wrote in the report. "Typically, 40 percent of annual digital camera shipments occur during the fourth quarter."