Kodak Quitting Camera and Digital Frame Business

Kodak Getting Out of Camera and Digital Frame Business

February 09, 2012. Eastman Kodak Co. said on Thursday that it is stopping the manufacturing digital cameras, compact video cameras along with digital picture frames, thus ending an era for a company that brought about photography for the masses over a century ago.

Established in 1880 by George Eastman, Kodak became known throughout the globe for its Instamatic and Brownie cameras along with its yellow & red boxes of film. However the company severely was beat-up by Japanese competition during the 1980s, and subsequently was unable to adapt fast enough with the movement away from from film and to digital technology.

Kodak Easyshare C1530 Compact Digital Camera
This Kodak EasyShare C1530 may well be one of the last new Kodaks' you'll ever seel

Kodak, which filed bankruptcy in January, said it is phasing out these product lines during the first part of 2012 and is searching for companies to license the brand to for those camera products. It is an especially agonizing moment for Kodak. because In 1975, employing a new kind of electronic sensor developed at Bell Labs, six years previously a Kodak engineer by the name of Steven Sasson invented the world's first digital camera. However, It was a huge toaster-size prototype which captured only black & white images only at a 0.1 megapixel resolution.

Kodak announced its first digital camera in 1995, the Kodak DC40 Point-and-Shoot. Kodak continues to focus its digital Kodak DC40 Point-and-Shoot Cameracamera models on simple-to-use cameras targeted primarily at beginners. Kodak has not sat the DSLR market out and has focused on manufacturing digital image processors to sell to other camera makers. In 2008, Kodak introduced the world's first 50 megapixel image sensor (50-million pixels), intended for use in cameras designed for professional photographers.

Throughout the 1990s, Kodak went through around $4 billion while developing the image technology used on the inside of most of today's digital devices and cell-phones. However a reluctance to let go of its immense financial dependence on film let competitors such as Canon Inc. and Sony Corp. to jump head first into a quickly-emerging digital field. The enormously lucrative analog photo business Kodak was concerned over undermining was all but eliminated in a single decade by the film free camera it invented. Today, the dedicated digital cameras are faceing tough competition, as the cameras in smart-phones are gaining more wide-spread use.

Kodak is the owner of patents that encompass several basic functions used in numerous smartphone cameras. The company earned $27 million in these patent-licensing fees during the first six months of 2011. It made around $1.9 billion for these patent-licensing fees during the prior three years combined. v Kodak is looking at high-speed inkjet presses of the commercial type, home photo printers, workflow software along with packaging as the central core of its business in the future. Since 2005, the Kodak has gone through hundreds of millions of dollars spent on new inkjet printer lines. Once it's digital camera business has been phased out, the company said it is going to focus it's consumer business upon printing. Kodak said it has begun working out a program with its present retailers to guarantee an orderly transition. Kodak will carry on with honoring product warranties along with providing technical support for it's discontinued merchandise. These changes are expected to create an annual savings reaching over $100 million Kodak didn't say the amount of jobs being eliminated resulting from these decisions, although they did say that it's expecting a charge off of some $30 million which is related to these separation costs.

Kodak plans to continue on with the following consumer products and services:

  • Retail-based photo kiosks and digital dry lab systems, a market in which Kodak is the clear worldwide leader. Kodak pioneered the retail-based kiosk market, and the company now has more than 100,000 kiosks and order stations for dry lab systems around the world, with some 30,000 of those units connected to the most popular photo-sharing sites.
  • Consumer inkjet printers, where Kodak has outpaced overall market growth for several years. Kodak consumer inkjet printers provide consumers with high-quality output and the lowest total ink replacement cost. Consumers can send documents and photos to Kodak printers from anywhere, using any web-connected device.
  • Kodak apps for Facebook, which make it easy for consumers to obtain photo products using photos from their Facebook albums.
  • Kodak Gallery (www.kodakgallery.com), a leading online digital photo products service. Kodak Gallery enables consumers to share their photos, and offers product and creation tools that enable people to do more with their photos.
  • The Kodak camera accessories and batteries businesses. These products are universally compatible with all camera brands, and extend into other consumer product segments such as charging units for smart-phones.
  • The traditional film capture and photographic paper business, which continues to provide high-quality and innovative products and solutions to consumers, photographers, retailers, photofinishers and professional labs.
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