New Canon PH chief undeterred by rise of smartphones

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Despite the apparent declining sales of point-and-shoot digital cameras due to the massive adoption of smartphones, the new Philippine head of the world?s largest camera manufacturer remains unperturbed of this emerging threat.

Canon Philippines president and CEO Lim Kok Hin
Canon Philippines president and CEO Lim Kok Hin

Lim Kok Hin, a Malaysian national who was recently appointed as president and CEO of Canon Philippines, said in a recent press briefing that he is not bothered by the current trend in which people take photographs or videos using their handsets.

Lim said that contrary to the public perception that smartphones are posing as a threat for Canon?s camera business, the mobile gadgets have actually helped photography grow in more ways than one.

?People are now taking more photos because of their smartphones and as they develop their interest in photography, they will eventually look for better, more professional cameras,? he reasoned out.

In fact, Lim noted that Canon?s camera business grew by 26 percent last year. From January to May of this year, its EOS line maintained its stranglehold of the market with 59 percent, while its Ixus and Power Shot lines dominated the point-and-shoot segment with 29 percent.

The Canon executive expressed the same bullish sentiment on the so-called ?paperless society? which tech pundits said will kill the printer industry.

Although he admitted that there his ongoing trend in bringing forward a paperless society, Lim said he is highly optimistic about the future of Canon?s printers.

He said the huge amount of information on the Web will also push a higher need for hard copies. ?Likewise, the more content we create, the more we will eventually need it on paper,? he said.

Unlike the paperless scenario conjured by forecasters many years ago, Lim said customers have continued to print, with Canon expanding its printer business by over 15 percent for the past year.

Canon said the company continues to lead with their respective market segments, with inkjet multi-function printer getting a 30-percent share, the inkjet single-function printers with 35 percent, and the laser single-function printers with 35.18 percent.

?In preserving memories, it is not enough that we store our photos online. Hard copies of our photographs give people a different, better feeling,? Lim said.

Canon also disclosed that the National Printing Office (NPO) chose the company to print over 104 million of printed ballots for the national and barangay elections during the 2013 mid-terms elections.

?There were four systems with eight engines in the total color-stream installed. Canon has also broke the record for printing over 52,333,801 ballots printed in the duration of only 57 days,? it said.

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