Canon initially started out in 1937 as the Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory in Japan. Canon offered a range of cameras with precision quality the brand quickly grew to worldwide popularity. They were one of the first companies to manufacture digital cameras, way back in 1984 but have suffered with the rise in popularity of the smartphone, seeing profits fall by a third. Canon entered the copier market in 1970 and expanded its business machine division to include scanners and printers.
The Canon Photocopier division quickly became a lucrative market for them. They went on to produce in 1987 the first plain paper office colour photocopier the CLC-1. The product was an instant success and helped propel Canon into the world’s leading copier supplier in the 1990’s, surpassing even Xerox. However Canon left it late before producing a full range of digital photocopiers and rivals particularly Ricoh caught them up.
Canon are known worldwide for their Cameras and Photcopiers but have diversified into Projectors, Camcorders and even Computers. The company enjoys a good environmental record with Clean Air-Cool Planet placing Canon at the top of a list of 56 worldwide climate-friendly companies.They have also made sizable donations to charity including the Red Cross Society of China after the earthquake.