Smartphone makers such as HTC, Nokia, and Samsung have made it a point to build powerful cameras into their mobile devices.
Many of today's leading smartphones offer not only high megapixel counts, but astounding software that lets them shoot in a wide variety of different modes. The appeal of camera-equipped smartphones has led to a decline in point-and-shoot camera sales for some time. Now it appears that these uber-devices are impacting sales of high-end, professional cameras, too.
Research firm IDC predicts that shipments of what it calls "interchangeable-lens cameras" (or dSLRs) will drop 9.1 percent from 19.1 million last year to 17.4 million this year. At the same time, Canon and Nikon, the leading dSLR makers, have been forced to lower forecasts for the year. Further, Tamron, a third-party maker of lenses, saw shipments slump by as much as 22 percent during the first three quarters, according to The Wall Street Journal.
"We are seeing tough figures at the moment, but I don't think this will last forever," said Nikon chief financial officer Junichi Itoh. "There still is potential demand, and I think China is the key."
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