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Cameras still feature in consumers’ desires

While consumers are less likely to buy single-function electronic products in the next year, according to an Accenture survey of 11,000 consumers around the world, digital cameras haven’t entirely fallen off the consumer technology buyers’ wish lists.

Could be worse: over one in 10 consumers intend to purchase a digital camera in 2013. (Source: Accenture.)
Could be worse: over one in 10 consumers intend to purchase a digital camera in 2013. (Source: Accenture.)

The Accenture ‘2013 Global Consumer Electronics Products and Services Usage Report’, released this week, shows that desire for multi-fiunction devices has increased significantly, but digital cameras, along with High Definition TVs, are still regarded as desirable consumer products, coming in at #3 and 5 respectively on the consumer product hit parade.  (The survey was conducted across 11 countries, not including Australia.)

The survey explored consumer usage and spending habits for 16 types of consumer electronic devices, 11 of which perform a single function and five that execute multiple functions. Overall, consumers’ intentions to purchase single-function devices has fallen or remained flat compared with the prior year.

In contrast, the percentage of respondents planning to buy multi-function devices in the next year increased from 16 percent a year ago to 36 percent for desktop and laptop PCs; from 27 percent to 41 percent for smartphones; from 20 percent to 33 percent for HDTVs; and from 16 percent to 23 percent for tablet computers.

(But whether PCs are actually multi-function devices or thrown into the multi-function category to bolster Accenture’s argument that it’s now a multi-function world, is debatable.)

According to the survey, camera ownership has actually dropped over the past few years, from 77 percent in 2009 to 68 percent in 2012. Camera purchase fell more than any other product category between 2011 – 2012, with 18 percent of respondents in 2011 saying  they had purchased a digital camera in the last 12 months and only 11 percent in 2012. This could in part be a reflection of the increased utility of cameras in smartphones.

Supporting this argument, use of online photo storage, on the other hand, experienced one of the most marked increases from 2011 to 2012, rising from 26 percent of survey respondents to 37 percent.

To access the full report in PDF form, click here.

COMMENT: The thrust of this report from Accenture is that manufacturers of ‘single function devices’ are pretty well buggered. The communications objective is to get some cheap column inches for the Accenture brand.

As the photo retailing industry is painfully aware, digital camera sales, particularly of mass market models, are in decline, they are a long way from the terminal decline ‘experts’ who only deal with the big picture might have us believe. The camera market is unique among consumer electronics categories. We need to be wary of the tendency towards the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’!







For the full report, visit For an infographic of this report, visit

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