Samsung is fast becoming the biggest manufacturer of electronics products in the world. With their expertise in manufacturing, it is not a surprise that they dabble in the camera business as they have the know- how and technology to assemble such products. With that, we recently sat down with Julian Thean, Samsung Malaysia Electronics, Marketing Leader for Digital Imaging to talk about the current state of the camera industry on the local front.
Malaysia has a market penetration of thirty- percent for cameras as a whole, which is not high if compared to a seventy- to eighty-percent market penetration for mobile phones. Even so, Malaysians purchase an average of 65,000 cameras a month; 50,000 being compacts and the rest DSLRs/professional/mirrorless cameras. This sizeable demand contributes to a 13-percent growth year on year.
When asked, Julian says that the company will be rolling out new models soon for the mass market – both compact and mirrorless camera system. On why the models are not launched to coincide with the Raya season, he says that the launch is more in accordance to a global launch timetable.
As a result, Samsung has the advantage of tweaking designs after seeing launches from competitors and including that into their new product range easily as they control every aspect of it – all the way from design right down to packaging.
Julian also says that the TwoView camera line is their biggest contributor for the camera division, holding about 40-50-percent of the total camera sales for Samsung in Malaysia.
Samsung meanwhile is not forgetting their camcorder line, which is an integral part of the company’s product offerings. However the demand for camcorders is not as high as before and this may result in slower and smaller growth for the segment in 2011.
Asked why the compact camera segment is so important to Samsung, Julian says that the company sees it as their bread and butter segment, contributing the majority to the division’s sales. He also says that with the new features in the cameras – WiFi and social media sharing – the compact camera will be, if it isn’t already, the darling of the younger generation.