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March 18, 2011: HDMI hi-jinks…Snipers hit GfK…Positive thinking…Poll positions…How much for Howcroft?

Maverick online retailer Ruslan Kogan continues to tug at the beards of his elders and betters, and JB HiFi in particular, this time by offering JB customers a $3 HDMI cable, which contrasts dramatically with the $69 – 199 charged for similar-but-obviously-many-times-superior HDMI cables at JB, Harveys and elsewhere in CE retailing land. (Saw one for $22 in my local Woolies last week, though.)
This was reported in CRN and other websites. (Connected Australia ran a not totally convincing story in defence of expensive HDMI cables.)

– Perhaps photo retailers should get themselves a bunch of these $3 cables and give them away with every order of 100 or more 6×4 prints. Come on Ted’s – you know it makes cents!

But seriously, there does seem to be an opportunity here for camera retailers, with many of the new compact cameras capturing HD video.

ChannelNews, headed up by the feisty David Richards, gets its first guernsey in ‘Best of the Rest’ this week, with its red hot go at market research giant GfK: ‘Is GFK Data Accurate? NO, Says [sic] Vendors, Retailers & Marketing Managers’.

Seems that the GfK emperor hasn’t got much on, according to this particular trade website, and a bundle of suppliers and retailers lined up to agree. The story focussed on TV monitor sales, and JB HiFi’s decision to no longer play in the GfK sandpit.

While we’ve specifically questioned GfK’s lack of online sales figures for cameras in the past, we feel that its data is infinitely better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick, especially when it comes to identifying trends. In fact (if they are still talking to us after this), we hope to present a story based on GfK-supplied figures in the next week or so.

Connected Australia seems intent on diminishing the business impact of the Japanese earthquake and its aftermath, with two consecutive stories. The first which was basically a lift from an ABC News report in which Harvey Norman honcho David Ackery asserted that Australian retailers won’t be impacted significantly, ‘based on conversations with suppliers Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba and Fujifilm’.

‘What’s emerged over the last couple of days has been that there won’t be any great effect on the stock or the manufacturing because in fact most of that has gone offshore in the last few years,’ he said. Cool – nothing to worry about then.

The second dealt specifically with flat panel displays and once again went with a positive spin ‘FPD suppliers may escape the worst of quake impact’, based this time on a blog from ‘a leading CE analyst’.

– Above all, what’s happening in Japan is a massive human tragedy and it’s a long way from being over. Spinning the business aspects so close to the event is unseemly. What we do know is that we don’t know very much. Sometimes its best just to admit it.

Current dared to conduct a Poll asking its readers who was the fairest digital imaging supplier of them all, in terms of support for retailers. Canon was first past the post with 32 percent, with daylight (well, Panasonic, actually) second at 18 percent.

‘Not faring so well…were FujiFilm, Samsung, Nikon and Olympus, which all came in after ‘Other’ in the poll,’ Current noted.


Finally, there seems to be some kind of PICA-funded event for the photo industry up in Sydney next week, hosted by the ineffable Dave Marshall, as reported in Photo & Imaging News. Poor old Photo Counter seems to have fallen out of favour, and off the PICA media list.

Was it something you said!?

Highlight of the event for mine will be a presentation by Don Franz, on his first visit to Australia in many years. It’s definitely worth hearing what Mr Franz has to say if you happen to be in Sydney at the time. Though he hasn’t been here for a while, he has a more profound understanding of the dynamics of the Australian and international photo industry than the TV celebrity advertising dude.

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