Nikon feeling heat from smartphones, says it needs to 'change the concept of cameras'

With slumping point-and-shoot camera sales and falling earnings, even a conservative company like Nikon can see the writing on the wall. President Makoto Kimura told Bloomberg that the number of people dropping compact shooters in favor of smartphones is "exploding" and that his company has created a new imaging business team to address the problem. He said that its task is "to create a product that will change the concept of cameras," adding that such a device will come to market in less than five years. Kimura didn't respond when asked if Nikon might build its own smartphone, though he said "(a new device) could be a non-camera consumer product." Whatever it turns out to be, given the current trend in smartphone sales and the fact that its imaging division nets 84 percent of Nikon's revenue, a little more diversification surely couldn't hurt.