The Digital Photo Frames market is growing rapidly; Sales Increased 4.8 times in a Half-Year
It looks like a simple photo frame, but you can see that it displays photos as a slideshow with an adjustable time interval. That is the digital photo frame, which is the talk of Japan. It displays pictures directly from a digital camera's memory card. Digital photo frames increased its sales from the beginning of this year. Their sales amount was 4.8 times larger than half a year ago. We surveyed the recent market trend using “BCN Ranking.”
The entry of major makers contributed to rapid growth
A digital photo frame is a picture frame that displays digital pictures. The digital photo frame can also display a slideshow.
When we look at the sales of digital photo frames, the units sold was up 104.7% and sales amount was up 108.3% in February 2008, compared with January. However, in March the units sold was up 207.8% and sales amount was up 218.5%. Both sales numbers had doubled.
Mr. Teruaki Nagashima, a salesclerk of digital photo frames at Bic Camera Yurakucho Store, said that people want digital cameras on the eve of graduations or entrance ceremonies and digital photo frames sold well after the ceremony season.
The market for digital photo frames grew rapidly in May. Compared with January, units sold was up 388.2% and sales amount was up 480.3%. Mr. Nagashima said this growth may be due to “Golden Week (holidays in a row, which is a travel season for Japanese people),” but much bigger effects were from the entry of Sony.
“S-Frame” series by Sony becomes the hot topic
Generally, the major digital photo frame makers are Magnetic Laboratories, Samsung and Techtuit. Besides iRiver, which is famous for digital audio players, or Polaroid also making digital photo frames, there is no major home appliance brand. Digital photo frames tend to be thought of as a minor product. However, Sony entered the market in May with three “S-Frame” series. It triggered the market growth and people started to recognize the digital photo frame.
“A year ago, most people bought digital photo frames as a gift.” Mr. Nagashima told us. Now people buy digital photo frames for their own room as an interior accessory. Mr. Nagashima described the “S-Frame” series as having high image resolution and many functions. For example, it can display photos with a calendar or clock. It also has good design and can easily match a desktop. The “S-Frame” is popular among young people.
The most popular model is 7” with a price of ¥10,000. There is still room for the market to expand
When we look in digital photo frame shops, there are various display sizes from 1.5” to 15.” According to sales share in May, the most popular size was 7” with 68% share. In second place was 5.6” with 10.5% and then the 9” models with 8.9%.
Because of the “various designs,” the 7” models were the most popular. Moreover, the “average price of 7” models are about ¥10,000. Larger display models are more expensive so people often hesitate to buy,” said Mr. Nagashima.
Recently, digital cameras have become a very common device. How can we enjoy the photos we take? Before the digital camera became popular, we always developed the films and made photo albums. However, few people in the era of digital cameras are doing this, but it is not good to just keep your photos in memory cards. That’s why the digital photo frames are now the center of attention. Mr. Nagashima said, “display size will become larger and pixels will also increase. When the prices become affordable, market demand may increase more. (Original Text by Akiko Yamashita)