Lack of demand forces Samsung out of U.K. camera market

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Lack of demand forces Samsung out of U.K. camera market

Samsung Electronics has pulled out of the camera market in the United Kingdom due to declining demand, following withdrawals from other European markets such as Germany, Portugal and the Netherlands.

The decision reflects the tech giant’s weakening footing in the camera business.

The U.K. office of Samsung Electronics confirmed the report.

“In the United Kingdom, we have seen a gradual and sustained decline in demand for standalone digital cameras and camcorders and related accessories,” the company was quoted as saying.

“For this reason, we have taken the decision to phase out the sales and marketing of these products.”

But the company said the exit is “local based on local conditions” to apparently defy some local reports that the departure in the United Kingdom signals the overall withdrawal from the camera business.

The speculation that Samsung may ditch the camera business emerged earlier this year as the company stopped releasing camera upgrades since February. Samsung Electronics denied the reports in September.

The camera business remained a headache for the leading manufacturer of the smartphone, TV and semiconductor, as it struggles to capture a sizable market share and beat out competitors such as Canon and Nikon. A series of structural changes and budget allocations implied Samsung is far from bullish on its camera business.

In the third quarter last year, the digital imaging business division for camera production was merged into the IT and mobile communications division.

The decision coincides with the downbeat performance even in its home turf.

The market share by Samsung Electronics in the mirrorless camera category stood at 16 percent, according to market tracker GfK. The dismal figure is less than half of Sony, which holds the No. 1 spot.

In the 2016 budget allocation draft, investment for the camera business was nowhere to be found.

In 2012, the tech behemoth unveiled three high-end cameras, the first in the world with a Wi-Fi-enabled mirrorless camera.


BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]

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