Canon Racks Up Big Gains

10/25/2007 12:00 am EST

Focus:

Tobin Smith

Founder and Chief Research Analyst, NBT Equity Group

Tobin Smith, chairman of ChangeWave Research, and his ChangeWave colleagues Paul Carton and Jim Woods found the Japanese camera and printer maker is surging ahead. 

With the holidays fast approaching, two recent ChangeWave Alliance surveys uncovered the biggest momentum players in digital cameras and computer peripherals—and our results clearly revealed Canon (NYSE: CAJ) blowing away the competition.

The first survey, completed in September, found demand for Canon cameras surging to its highest level of the year, with 39% of respondents saying they own a Canon—up three points from a previous survey taken in June.

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And while Canon's market share clearly increased, there was virtually no movement among the other major manufacturers during this same time period.

But an astonishing 55% of respondents planning to buy a digital camera in the next 90 days said it will be a Canon. This was an unprecedented 15-point move.

There are a few likely explanations for such large-scale projected gains.

First and foremost, Canon has established itself as the brand to beat in the digital camera marketplace—and this brand dominance is separating it from the rest of its competitors. Notably, of the other major digital camera manufacturers, only Nikon (up two points to 21%) and Olympus (up two points to 10%) appeared to have any momentum going forward.

Secondly, in August, Canon announced eight new camera models, including their highly anticipated EOS 40D digital SLR, offering a 10-megapixel sensor and Live View mode, which enables you to use it like a traditional point-and-shoot camera.

While Canon showed substantial momentum in digital cameras, this only represents about 25% of the company's total business. To get at Canon's largest core market, we turned to our August survey of 1,907 companies and their demand for business peripherals, including all-in-one devices, printers, and fax machines.

Canon is not the dominant player in the peripherals space, as top honors here are reserved for Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ). But Canon did rank a very strong second in business peripherals. And when it came to momentum, it looked very capable of turning this market into a two-horse race.

When we asked respondents to tell us the manufacturer of the all-in-one devices their company planned on purchasing in the next 90 days, 23% said they'd buy Canon—up three points from our May survey.

In printers, 13% of respondents named Canon as their next purchase, up five points from previously. And in copy machines, the company jumped three points to 28%.
While the final quarter of 2007 has barely begun—and marketplace battles in digital cameras and computer peripherals rages on—judging by our Alliance members' weapons of choice, we are highly confident in the year-end outcome:

Canon will blow away the competition. (The ADRs closed Wednesday above $50—Editor.)

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