Japanese companies hold about 70 percent of the world market share for Cameras.
The Current Japanese camera companies are: Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, Casio, Kyocera, Nikon, Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, Pentax, and Sony.
Cell phones with camera and digital cameras are cheap in Japan, so they are readily available to the youth.
Purikura or “print club” is a booth that is extremely popular among
high school girls, but is aimed at
girls ages 8-24.
Purikura is very popular among Japanese youth.
Purikura is a picture booth where you can take picture with your friends. You can draw and write on the pictures. Pictures are printed out on sticker paper.
Making albums with Purikura pictures is popular among Japanese youth.
They spend time showing these albums to each other.
It is fun to take pictures in itself.
Purikura makes you more beautiful because it make you look slimmer and uses a lighting which hides skin imperfections, and make your skin whiter (a sign of beauty in Japan).
Photos make friendships and social networks visible to others. Through Mixi (Facebook of Japan) or Purikura albums.
Photos give the ability to display your peer relationships, your activities and your creative talents in modding photos (for purikura).
Japan is a collectivistic society, so who you are depends on which group you belong. This makes displaying your friendships and social networks more attractive in Japan than more individualistic countries.
Photos can be used as memento of events.
Purikura gives you privacy which is hard to find in Japan.
Marketing methods for purikura include making places exclusive for women, or using new machines with sekigaisen (infra-red exchange).
Purikura started in 1990 and became a big hit due to the band SMAP, and other bands like them giving it celebrity endorsement. They gave their fans pictures of themselves at purikura, and in turn ended up starting a trend.
Another way to attract people is too put cute characters or designs on their products, appealing to a younger generation.
Camera phone sales are 92% of sales in Japan.
Cell phones in Japan are a US$130 billion industry.
Purikura Machine - $6,000 - $20,000+ For the Picture - $6 to $10
The Number one camera company with the most sales is by far Canon at ~45%, followed by Sony at ~15%.
Camera phones are starting to hit new bounds with new inventions:
Over 10 megapixels
Printer built in the camera
Instant sending to other friends cameras
Right now Digital cameras are one of the big three electric products in Japan (LCD, and DVD recorders being the other two).
Cellular phones are making big improvements to their cameras and some of the digital camera consumers are starting to think digital cameras are not needed. The technology will only build but it is safe to say that companies like Canon will focus on only improving their Digital cameras.
As the market slows in Japan, companies are headed to China in search of profits, most likely they will easily infiltrate the market.