Hewlett Packard will stop selling digital cameras in Australia. The Asia-wide move comes as the company increases its focus on home photo printing amid intense competition in the digital camera space.
An HP Australia spokeswoman confirmed that the company will stop bringing its Photosmart range of digital cameras into the country and will not replenish stock of existing models currently out with retailers. Other countries to be affected include Japan, Korea, India and China. "HP will cease sales of its digital camera business in Asia-Pacific and focus its investment around home photo printing, which is a high growth area and where HP has market leading technology to offer the consumer," the company said in a statement.
HP Australia says it will honour any existing warranties for its digital cameras, as well as for any new purchases made from its current range. A spokeswoman said the company would work with other digital camera brands to bring out bundled offerings featuring HP printers.
Asia, and Japan in particular, is home to some of the world's best-known digital camera brands, including Pentax, Nikon, Canon and Konica Minolta. That made selling cameras in the region a Herculean effort for HP, even with its "sizable efforts," IDC analyst Chris Chute pointed out.
Dropping camera sales in Asia is probably a good move anyhow, Chute said. IDC's stats show HP barely made a dent in the region, with sales so small they were lumped into the "other" category, which last year made up 9 percent of the market, excluding Japan. HP fared better in the rest of the world, ranking No. 5 in the United States and No. 7 in Europe and Latin America.
Canon remains the digital camera king, according to IDC, with worldwide shipments of 12.63 million cameras, 17.1 percent of the market. Sony came in second with 12.32 million, or 16.7 percent, and Kodak was third, with 8.71 million, or 11.8 percent. Overall shipments were 74 million units.
Last updated: 3rd August, 2005