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February 2018 CIPA Results and Analysis
This months’ CIPA data was released with some surprising results.
February showed slightly increased sales volume against February 2017, that is an interesting data point that needs to be explored in far more detail versus just an overall summary that it’s a good month.
A year ago, February, the shipment totals were increased because of the pent-up shipments of mirrorless in that time frame. This is shown on this month where we see mirrorless shipments fall in general when compared to a year past. However, this month unlike last month, DSLR shipments have also increased making up for the lack of volume of mirrorless.
A proper correction month would have had February 2018 sales still under that of this month last year, and most likely continuing for March.
This could mean that outside forces such as new releases have increased sales especially of DSLR's over that period, which may have happened as Canon released their low end products earlier this year, which would have been mass shipped to retailers in February.
This we see in more clarity when we look at the per unit values for mirrorless and DSLR. Where the mirrorless values remain consistent, in February, we see a fairly dramatic shift to a lower unit value for DSLRs; meaning there was a higher amount of low value units shipped in February.
This really is a key datapoint that many are missing with their analysis today.
So is this a rebound month?
It’s hard to say, because Canon mass shipped a bunch of DSLR’s. It is still an important consideration as most months we argue that the consistency of new production releases in Mirrorless give a false sense of calm in that market versus that of the DSLR market. It’s certainly a good month, however it does nothing to show that the continued presence of mirrorless is in any way stopping this month.
Overall the marketshare seems to have stabilized since early 2017, as now for over a year it seems to be floating around the 35% level for mirrorless. Even though this was a better month for DLSR’s there’s no real indication that it’s going to be an ongoing trend. Instead, given the shipments of February, it’s more likely that next month we’ll see a return to the 35% for mirrorless marketshare.
Asia and mirrorless show a leveling of around 60% of the mirrorless market, no real great surprise there as it’s been that way for around 5 years now. Somewhat interestingly, Japan by itself shows an uptick, leading to believe that perhaps there was more domestic activity than in recent months.
Understandable with Olympus, Panasonic and Canon all releasing mirrorless models, and most geared to a more domestic market (EOS-M50, E-PL9, GF10).
In closing, we have seen a relatively optimistic month, tempered by some new cameras that slightly changed the narrative over months past. We will have a better feel for the patterns over the next two months.
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