I keep reading the hikvisions and dahuas are driving the prices down and ruining the market and can't help think how this reminds me of the music industry blaming illegal downloads and $1 songs for their revenues shrinking yet they ignore what the customer has been asking for and have pushed out crappy albums that people don't value enough to pay full price for any more.
At the end of the day, it's all about value and what the market wants. Companies like Dahua and Hikvision offer great bang for the buck because there is a lack of options that offer enough value to justify the higher prices. I hear here and other places that professional brands are expensive because of their sales force and local presence, well maybe that's not as valuable as it once was compared to making a product that is more technically advanced. Maybe companies can spend more of their money on developing more advanced features that actually work and help them stand out without just nickel and diming it's customers for those added features.
I keep hearing over and over from end users asking the question, why is the camera so expensive, it's just a camera. They're right, cameras, in general, are cheap because the technology is now cheap. Yet the industry wants to keep pushing the idea that my camera is better than theirs yet everyone knows the cameras are good enough. Then I hear customers always complaining about the poor motion detection, 100s of notifications in a day, false alarms, poor user experiences etc etc. It sounds like to me camera manufacturers should be focusing more on accurate analytics and notifications. The camera image technology has reached a point where the cheapest brands can make a picture "good enough" for most end users and businesses. This should tell the industry that innovation should be pushed beyond the image itself and more to the user experience of the products if they want to stay valuable and relevant. Great proof of this is to simply look at the new consumer DIY security camera market. The products flying off the shelves don't have the best picture quality or highest resolution, they have great user experiences throughout the life of the product. The professional industry doesn't always provide that kind of experience yet we expect end user to pay a premium for the professional products.
As people in the industry, we are allowing the Hikvisions and Dahuas to drive the market down by not demanding better products that offer more value to our end users, not to us, but our end users. If manufacturers keep simply competing on the image and price then, of course, they'll lose to the China manufacturers of the world. Instead, Manufactures should be competing beyond the cameras. Manufacturers should be focusing on better user interfaces, better tech support, better smarter analytics, a better experience. I'd be glad to support a company that practices those things above all else. I use Hikvision as one option and frankly it's not that great to use, other brands don't provide a much better experience at least not worth the higher prices they expect people to pay.
As I live in this industry more, I see an industry that has become complacent with their old business models and has created a huge disconnect between themselves and the end user. So I am starting to truly believe that the industry is being destroyed not by the HIkvisions and Dahuas, but by it's complacency and lack of innovation that should add value for the end user who actually lives with these systems once installed. The industry appears to be more concerned with protecting it's old business models than adapting and providing true value to its customers.
The music industry forced musicians to crank out albums faster-expecting consumers to continue paying full price for an album that had one good song to increase the music industries profits. They did this without providing value to the end customer and then acted surprised when their market was disrupted by the idea of purchasing only one song. I can argue the security camera industry is doing nearly the same thing by expecting the market to continue to pay high prices for something that is just a camera. Have we become a bloated industry demanding high prices without realizing the value proposition is no longer in sync with the customer?
I personally don't want to sell just a camera that records. I want to sell an experience that makes life easier for my customer and provides true value that they experience and enjoy to use. The startups building DIY solutions appear to be doing this and end users are going nuts for it, why can't the professional industry do the same and beyond with the experience and knowledge it has?
So I ask, is Hikvision and Dahua destroying the industry or is it really the lack of innovation and the lack of true value provided to the end customer that is destroying the market and allowing Hikvision to take over?