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Digital camera shipments predicted to drop 12.5%

TAIPEI--Global shipments of digital still cameras will fall 12.5 percent in 2012 due to the popularization of smartphone cameras and the economic downturn, Digitimes Research predicted Monday.

According to the research firm, the low- and middle-end digital camera market is being squeezed by smartphone cameras, with consumers increasingly relying on their phones to snap pictures.

Digitimes Research predicted 106 million low- and middle-end digital cameras would be shipped worldwide in 2012, down 12.5 percent from last year.

The research firm also expected Canon Inc. to become the world's largest digital camera vendor in 2012, with shipments expected to surpass those of current leader Sony Corp.

Sony's shipments are expected to fall 15 percent from a year earlier to fewer than 18 million units, while Canon's shipments should fall by only 1 percent.

Nikon Corp., the only digital camera maker expected to see positive shipment growth in 2012, is forecast to snatch the No. 3 spot from South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co., the research firm said.

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