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Canon zooms in on digital cameras

Calcutta, Nov. 2: Canon India has set a target of achieving a 20 per cent market share in the digital camera segment by 2004. The company has recently ventured into this segment.

The wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore-base Canon has already overtaken Sony with a 19 per cent market share, according to IDC statistics for the first half of this fiscal. Kodak leads with a 50 per cent stake in the market.

“We will leverage the company’s inherent strength in the camera segment to spur growth in the digital camera (digicam) business, which will be our focus area in the next couple of years,” said Alok Bharadwaj, director and general manager for the consumer imaging and information division.

Digicams are expected to see a 70 per cent annual growth over the next few years.

“This year, around 80,000 units are expected to be sold against 50,000 last year,” said Bharadwaj. Canon sells around 300 units every month. The price ranges between Rs 20,000 and Rs 79,995.

Globally, Sony leads with a 19.6 per cent market share followed by Canon with 18 per cent. In India, Kodak had a 50 per cent share last year followed by Sony at 15 per cent. Canon occupies the fourth place after Olympus.

The Singapore-based company has launched PictBridge, a technology that will allow digicams to be directly connected to the printer, regardless of the brand.

The company will launch four digicams and seven printers based on this technology in the first week of November. The printers will cost between Rs 9995 and Rs 20,000. Canon plans to tap the market through a network of 2000 retail outlets under 25 distributors. It has set up Canon Digi Foto Zone to offer expert services. It plans to set up 25 centres in 2003 and 200 more in 2004.

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