Nikon is feeling the heat from smartphones heavily impacting the sales of compact cameras, and the company intends to do something about it. The camera manufacturer is attempting to fight this by working on new secret products that "will change the concept of cameras," claims company president Makoto Kimura in an interview.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Kimora advised that the "number of people taking snapshots is exploding" thanks to smartphones, with around 750 million sold in the last year, and with that number still rising. This has impacted the company's imaging division, and expects that while high-end models will changeable lenses will rise by around 9 percent in the current financial year, compact camera sales will shrink 12-percent in the same time.
In combating this, Nikon is looking at other areas to work within. "We've centralized our ideas around cameras, but can change our approach to offer products to that bigger market," said Kimora. "We want to create a product that will change the concept of cameras," he claimed, continuing "It could be a non-camera consumer product."
When pressed further, Kimora declined to say if Nikon is creating its own mobile phone. He did admit "Rapid expansion of mobile devices is a change in business environment given to us. Our task going forward is to find an answer to that change."
The imaging division currently makes up 84-percent of the operating income at the company, with the remainder coming from other businesses. Kimura suggests that Nikon may expand into production of medical devices, with a view to generating revenue within three years, following similar moves by Sony and Canon into working with hospitals and medical device manufacturers, as well as Olympus and its endoscope production facilities.