Sony just released a financial report for the second quarter of 2019 and sales are down compared to 2018.
While this might seem like a notable downturn in a company’s success, other camera manufacturers would probably be delighted with such a small drop, especially given that Canon just reported a fall in sales of almost 14%, and imaging profits plummeting more than 50%.
Canon itself has appeared to acknowledge that Sony’s aggressive pricing is having an impact on its profit margins, and right now there are some great deals to be had on mirrorless full-frame cameras. For example, the Nikon Z 7, a camera that was $3,400 when it was launched a year ago, is now available for less than $2,700.
With Sony being such a huge company, you have to do a bit of digging to find the figures. Contained in “Supplemental Information” are the figures for quarterly performance, with 103,034 million yen of sales to customers in the second quarter of 2018, compared to 99,606 million for the same quarter of 2019.
Sony lists that it sold 0.9 million units in the second quarter of 2018, compared to 0.7 million in 2019. Given the performance of the camera industry more broadly, this could seem like fairly decent performance. Sony’s forecast for total year sales of 3 million units is still on course.
Those suggesting that Sony is struggling to meet last year's performance because of a lack of significant updates among recent releases might want to consider that Sony's product cycle is about half that of Canon and Nikon, opting for incremental upgrades rather than dramatic new products. If you want significant updates, you probably need to wait another year or two.
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