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Kodak to stop making cameras, end era

updated 09:45 am EST, Thu February 9, 2012

Kodak to cut original businesses to stay alive

Kodak validated rumors and said Thursday that it would stop making what most consider its core products. It plans to shut down production of still cameras, pocket video cameras, and digital photo frames within the first half of this year. The shift would leave it to inkjet printers and other photo printing.

The company still intended to provide support for cameras orphaned by the decision.

Its cost-cutting would come in the face of its bankruptcy filing and was intended to shed over $100 million in costs per year as part of a restructuring. Kodak will take an up-front $30 million cost as part of the shift.

Ending cameras would come as the tail end of a series of strategic failures at Kodak. The company was slow to adapt to digital, initially trying to shelter its film camera business where Canon, Nikon, and others more openly embraced the new technology. By the time it arrived, it focused mostly on low-end cameras and was squeezed out.

Rather than improve its products, Kodak instead decided to base its income on suing other companies over patent disputes. Its finances reached a crisis when courts either denied or delayed its wins, leading it to start selling core businesses and even try to sell the patents it was using as weapons. Evemn in its current state, it has been trying new lawsuits as a last-ditch attempt to improve revenue.

For Kodak, the decision closes down the camera business that was at the heart of its work for nearly all of the 123 years since it was founded. Some have likened the rumored and now confirmed camera division selloff as akin to HP briefly toying with the idea of abandoning PCs, since it would remove the brand from what most associate with its core product.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    +4

    Just doomed

    Sorry to say but it looks like Kodak is doomed as a company. Hmmm, maybe they can sell candy instead.... chocolate cameras that you can eat???

    en

  1. tiborg

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2002

    +5

    Edible cameras

    Already tried that. Have you never heard of the Kodak Brownie?

  1. Grendelmon

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Dec 2007

    +14

    GTFO, MacNN

    "Rather than improve its products, Kodak instead decided to base its income on suing other companies over patent disputes."

    It's so cute when you pretend to be a journalist.

  1. Rolando_jose

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    +2

    Printers???

    Don't know how good kodak printers are, but it has a BIG competition out there.

  1. bleee

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Mar 2002

    +3

    Why Nikon why Canon?

    Why is it that Nkon and Canon are so successful at making cameras yet Kodak can't compete?

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2006

    +4

    Missing the boat big time

    Kodak took too much comfort in making film. Unfortunately they totally missed the boat on digital media such as SD cards and digital camera since day one. They were like Ballmer laughing at keyless iPhone.

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    Apple

    should buy these guys out. Save the company, get the patents, give innovative camera designers a shot. Imagine an Ive-inspired digital camera.

  1. TGB

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2012

    0

    Adapt or die

    You either adapt or die. With the advent of digital photography, Kodak actively chose to die, by ignoring the new technology, then deliberately refusing to update, then making a feeble attempt to join the rest of the world.

    Everyone always says "Apple should buy" various companies, particularly any company which is collapsing. There are hundreds of digital cameras from heaps of vendors, and they're more-or-less interchangeable. It's an established market. It doesn't make sense for Apple to go into this area, particularly if the best they can add to it is a fancy new case. Frankly, that's just not innovative, "transformative" or..... Apple enough. Apple is about the gooey sentimentality of handing an iPad around at your family reunion with all your photos on it and having Aunt So-and-So sobbing about the wonderful memories of her childhood. Or seeing them via AppleTV on your big plasma. Cameras are more utilitarian. It's really not an Apple market.

    Kodak's claim to the patents is also questionable, making their value questionable. Why not just wait until Kodak collapses and buy any valid patents themselves?

  1. facebook_Rene

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2012

    0

    Not Just Printers...

    ....but really crappy printers. I work for a business that uses Kodak thermal printers and they're not nearly as good as Epson, HP or Canon. They really need to get in and invest in new technology and improve their product rather than waste money on frivolous lawsuits. They're just cutting off their nose to spite their face, as it were. Kodak was once a pioneer of innovation! What happened?

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