As third-quarter profit reports came out, it's now known Canon assessed a 16 percent loss in net income, largely attributed to smartphones and mirrorless cameras, unsurprisingly. Nonetheless, the popular manufacturer is optimistic for future growth.
It's no secret that smartphones have essentially rendered the compact camera a niche item, while mirrorless offerings have seriously undercut the DSLR market. Many have noted Canon's seeming lack of willingness to innovate at the pace or amount needed to keep current. In fact, I alluded to this very issue merely a month ago. Nonetheless, Canon did note a slow recovery in interchangeable-lens camera sales in Japan and Europe, though other regions showed less favorable results. Color printer sales were strong, though monochrome printer sales experienced a downturn.
The weaker yen will help to increase overall earnings due to Canon's large export business, but the counter-effect is an increase in import costs. The fourth quarter will also be a good indicator of Canon's standing and direction, as holiday sales tend to be a boon for camera manufacturers. On the same token, however, this does beg the question of Canon's long-term stance of slow evolution versus the rapid-fire innovation of competitors like Sony. For example, I found the recent introduction of the EOS M10 completely befuddling. The M10 is actually a step down from the M3, which is already far behind the mirrorless offerings of Sony and Fujifilm. The Canon mirrorless offerings seem to get almost no attention from the photography community, except when they are offered at a deep discount; thus, many of us have begun to wonder if and how Canon plans to innovate in the mirrorless market that is steadily eating away at DSLR sales.
What are your thoughts? Do you prefer Canon's evolutionary approach or would you prefer some more excitement? Let us know in the comments!
CORRECTION NOTICE: This article was originally published based on a report of Canon's Q3 2014 earnings. I apologize for the error and have updated it to reflect the correct Q3 2015 report.