Pulling focus on camcorders

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By  Published  November 30, 2006

The market for digital camcorders continues to boom across the Middle East, with three of the region’s biggest consumer markets recording significant gains in terms of sales from 2004 to 2005.

The growth in sales of digital camcorders in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran, came at the expense of analogue models in each country, with the UAE recording a massive 34% drop in analogue camcorder shipments over the course of the surveyed period.

In terms of the popularity of competing digital recording formats, sales of camcorders based on the digital videocassette format enjoyed the greatest gains from 2004 to 2005, with sales increasing 13%, 9% and 4% in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iran respectively.

DVD-, hard disk-recording, and memory card compatible models also enjoyed small gains during the surveyed period, although GfK confirmed that these products have only become serious contenders in the market in 2006.

Camcorders featuring integrated LCD monitors as standard also proved popular with consumers in each country, with sales increasing 8%, 16% and 8% in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iran respectively.

Camcorders equipped with digital optical stabiliser technology also gained favour with consumers, while stereo audio playback and RC-capabilities were must-have features.

The UAE enjoyed the biggest growth in sales across all digital camcorder categories, a result GfK attributed to strong demand from tourists.

The value of the digital camcorder market in the three countries combined rose by almost 30% during the surveyed period, with the major vendors including Sony, Cannon, Hitachi and Panasonic, all enjoying significant commercial gains.

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