#5. "RE: Nikon Smartphone?" In response to Reply # 0
Nikon can't build a smartphone that will address the bite that other device makers are making in compact camera sales.
Alternatively, becoming a component maker (optics/image processing) won't bring in large enough revenue streams either.
Cashing in on marquee sales - well, how many copies of Nokia's 41MP PureView with Zeiss Optics do you see on the street?
No, the answer is they have to innovate or die (in terms of compact camera segment or replacement sales). Either they create a camera hybrid that is innovative enough to make people think it's still worth having a separate device from their phone to capture images...or something else. If I knew what that something else was, I'd be a much richer person.
#6. "RE: Nikon Smartphone?" In response to Reply # 0
All of those sources (and others) are reporting on the same Bloomberg interview with Nikon's president. And he didn't actually say anything about Nikon making a smartphone, only that they may need to "change our approach" toward the market that is dropping compact cameras for smartphones. What that means is anyone's guess, but I seriously doubt Nikon will become a smartphone manufacturer.
I could certainly envision Nikon doing things like licensing parts of their processing chain (such as D-Lighting processing) to other manufacturers for use in smartphones or related products. But he hints that they have something more radical in mind.
#8. "RE: Nikon Smartphone?" In response to Reply # 0
Bidford on Avon, UK
Almost all the smartphone market profits are in the hands of Apple and Samsung. Other makers, such as HTC and Sony, either make next to nothing or actually lose money.
I don't see Nikon managing to create a compelling smartphone where HTC and Nokia can't.
I think there's a lot of mileage in Nikon making smart cameras. Samsung already do, with Wifi cameras able to upload straight to Facebook, but the controls and quality are not great. A Nikon device with a 3G or 4G card embedded (like the 3G Kindles) which enabled you to upload your full res images to a Nikon site and have them automatically ported to your choice of social media sites would be a good move.
Another possibility would be Nikon software embedded in other people's smartphone cameras.
#9. "RE: Nikon Smartphone?" In response to Reply # 0 Wed 10-Jul-13 12:16 AM by snegron
Cape Coral, Florida, US
On another note, I think Nikon missed the boat regarding the mirrorless, m4/3 market. They came too late to the game and didn't offer anything substantially better than what Sony, Olympus or Panasonic had.
Instead of focusing on the smartphone market, I think Nikon should make a completely radical move and go back to its roots; a manufacturer of fine optics and cameras. As I have suggested in the past, if Nikon were to go "retro" and produce a series of quality digital rangefinders I would be first in line to place an order for one. Even if they stuck with a retro FM-type digital body (small, compact DSLR to compete with the very successful Olympus E-M5) I would still be on board. I would even break it down as follows:
- Nikon SD1; A digital rangefinder with DX sensor, lens mount can be either what Nikon currently uses for their mirrorless cameras or a new "SD" mount can be created.
- Nikon SP1; A top of the line digital rangefinder with full frame sensor, body built of titanium, matching quality fast optics. Something that would give Leica M a run for its money.
- Nikon D-FM; A solid, compact DSLR with DX sensor; a digital body version of the FM3; lens mount would be their current F mount.
If Nikon were to make these bodies and focus on marketing the difference/advantage of high quality image capture versus cell phone snapshots, I think they would have a winner. Olympus has done extremely well with its re-introduction of their Pen series and compact SLR in digital form, why wouldn't Nikon be equally or substantially more successful? After all Nikon had the reputation of being the king of SLR's back in the day.
#10. "RE: Nikon Smartphone?" In response to Reply # 0
>of at least three sources hinting at a Nikon smartphone:
It seems like a ridiculous idea to me. Blackberry, Samsung, Nokia are either struggling or have taken a beating recently. Excitement around Apple product releases has dropped significantly. Hangers on like HTC are just that, hanging on. It is a crowded and brutal market space. Not a good idea in my opinion.
A market leader phone with Nikon camera technology inside is perhaps plausible.
#11. "RE: Nikon Smartphone?" In response to Reply # 0
Not enough to save traditional cameras. Compact or SLR cameras are not "smart" enough compared to a smartphone. They have limited software features, limited communication features, no integrated GPS for most of them, they are dumb, highly specialised. The futur of camera is what Samsung did with the Galaxy NX http://www.androidcentral.com/samsung-galaxy-nx-android-based-mirrorless-camera-pictured So, yes for a smart Nikon camera, but a Nikon smartphone? For what, 1% of the smartphone market share? Maybe there is a way to do better: Why not a mirrorless SLR stripdown box, with a back docking board for a smart phones? Like this it will be possible to separate the pure camera functions (captors, dials, lens and lens support, battery) from the digital treatment engine (processor, software, memory) and use the smartphone features to add communication, connectivity and visualisation? It could be a Nikon smartphone or any smartphone if Nikon design interchangeable back-docking board for the camera box, compatible with various smartphone models. It offer the flexibility (you can upgrade your smart phone each two years if the new one is compatible with an existing docking back), of change the camera box without upgrading the smartphone. Nikon can make money on each elements: The camera box, the smart phone, the docking board and the software (that can be serialised and specific to each camera box model). And you can still use the smartphone camera when no docked in the camera box. Hundred more ideas popping up in my mind around this concept... Maybe a silly, maybe be not. What I am waiting for is the lens revolution, smart camera is only an evolution.
#12. "RE: Nikon Smartphone?" In response to Reply # 0
As others have already mentioned in here, Samsung smartphone portfolio is a killing in the smartphone market. They are moving up the value chain by pushing out a new, cool looking camera (looks like a real camera, only seen pictures of it) with Android OS and a fat, nice touch screen on the back.
Also a bit below that, cool hybrids (think fat smart phone) with real optics are coming from Samsung.
If there is something that happens right now, is that the smartphone folks are moving up the value chain and not that the premium brands like Nikon and Kwanon are moving down that much.
Yes, for sure the compact camera sales of e.g. Nikon are hurt by the smart phones. If a strategy of fighting that by throwing in mobile phone components will help I strongly doubt. Specifically since Nikon has a poor or non-existing record of software and everything around that (cloud, SaaS...) The business model for connected devices is in the service layer and here Nikon is non-existent.
If Nikon goes for mobiles, they better have a strong OEM-deal with a manufacturer, maybe with Samsung or HTC. Latters future seems a bit shaky now though.
And, if they want to go this way with "Camera-to-Cloud", they better start a new company or two and get folks on board to deal with the services aspect. Being creative on servicing, new products that are activated fast, good integration with other cloud vendors, market places and much more, these are the things that matters in mobility.
The mobile phones themselves are not making much of any money, with or without a camera or two, or three.
An undeniable paradox: To think that there is any such thing as an absolute rule is at worst naïve, and at best, shortsighted. There is no such thing as an always-true, all context- or situation-salient, absolute rule that always holds true…including this one!
#14. "RE: Nikon Smartphone?" In response to Reply # 0
Western PA, US
I personally think Nikon is at serious crossroads right now – and is frankly all over the map strategically.
They see what’s happening in the smartphone market, and want a piece of the action. But I do agree with other posters that they’re late to this rodeo, so their only play at this point would be a license/OEM deal.
They do have a tremendous amount of brand equity and a viable marketing machine, so I can certainly see this as being a huge advantage for some sort of integration partnership.
They see what’s happening in the mirrorless/compact/Four Thirds camera market – with non DSLR-legacy brands like Sony, Fuji and Olympus making some serious technological inroads over the past few years.
No doubt, Nikon produces some amazing larger DSLR and glass – and their technical achievements in the areas of dynamic range, high ISO/low-light and higher resolution sensors are industry leading (along with some of their glass). Of course, the consumer side is where all the money is at.
But the world is a changin’ – and technology is rapidly morphing towards ubiquitous, small-form factor, highly integrated, mobile/social/app-enabled “do-it-all” devices.
That’s not to say that there won’t be a place for honking-large alloy monsters like the D4, but when you see players like Sony turning out high IQ 24 MP full-frame cameras that can fit into the palm of your hand, it’s obvious to see where technology is going (even the Nokia 1020 is impressive).
Where Nikon will end up when the dust settles is anyone’s guess – but they’re fast becoming an irrelevant brand if you ask me, and need to do something fast.
The ability to adapt and change quickly is key to corporate survival in today’s technology-driven world. Just look what happened to Kodak. Even flagship brands like Leica are teetering in this new paradigm, although the M240 might help resuscitate things a bit (if they can actually work out supply issues).
I’m not saying Nikon will go away. But there’s a big difference between just playing in the sandbox, and being a market leader. And from what I’m seeing, Nikon and Canon are slipping behind as companies like Sony, Apple, Fuji, Samsung, etc. are becoming more and more relevant from a visual imaging standpoint.
#16. "RE: Nikon Smartphone?" In response to Reply # 15
Yes the Galaxy Zoom is a low end, but the Galaxy NX is a totally different beast designed for "professionals". Should the model integrate the buttons and dials expected on a SLR I will really have a look at it (the NX seems to be mainly touch screen driven). I use Nikon for about 36 years but I have no intention to become a dinosaur. You can also have a look at the 41 megapixel Nokia Lumia 1020, a Windows phone. Even if 41 megapixel means not a lot in terms of final result, for 300$ announced price, it means a lot in term of market for techno hypsters. I was yesterday at a tourist spot in China, a local place, no foreigners around (but me). No trace of compact cameras, very few SLR, hundreds of mobile phones and tablets used by the youngs as well as by the Grand Ma. Yes, billions of crappy pictures of flowers in pot and blurry grand-daughters to be posted in low resolution on Weibo, the local Facebook. A photographic genocide but the mass market trend.