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Print 29 comment(s) - last by RU482.. on Feb 10 at 12:43 PM

Kodak also giving up on photo frames and pocket video recorders

It's no secret that photography company Kodak has been down on its luck in recent years. The company, which was once a pioneer in digital photography, found itself unable to compete with more agile competitors like Nikon and Canon. Even more telling is with the rise of smartphones with increasingly better picture/video-capturing capabilities, the market for dedicated point-and-shoot cameras has been steadily eroding; a point that Sony has already conceded.
 
Given that Kodak digital cameras typically couldn't hold a candle to competition from Nikon, Canon, and Sony, it should come as no surprise that following the company's announcement last month that it was filing for bankruptcy that the next step would be to shutter its digital camera business.
 
Digital cameras, however, aren't the only casualties -- Kodak will also discontinue pocket video cameras and digital photo frames. These product lines will be phased out during the first half of 2012.
 
“For some time, Kodak’s strategy has been to improve margins in the capture device business by narrowing our participation in terms of product portfolio, geographies and retail outlets. Today’s announcement is the logical extension of that process, given our analysis of the industry trends,” said Pradeep Jotwani, President, Consumer Businesses, and Kodak Chief Marketing Officer.  
 
Kodak will now focus its energies on its more profitable areas including retail photo printing, desktop inkjet printing, its Kodak Gallery online photo service, and traditional film capture business.

Source: Kodak



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Never inovated
By Amedean on 2/9/2012 12:23:42 PM , Rating: 4
The myspace of photography, RIP Kodak.




RE: Never inovated
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 2/9/2012 12:31:33 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
The myspace of photography


Damn, that's cold ;)


RE: Never inovated
By zozzlhandler on 2/9/2012 12:35:09 PM , Rating: 3
Speak (or post) about what you know. Innovation was *not* Kodak's problem. They invented digital photography. What they could not (seemingly) do was to manage to transition their business from a film-based to a digital-image-based company (sadly).


RE: Never inovated
By Amedean on 2/9/2012 12:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
And so did myspace, they inovated and stagnated from their success.


RE: Never inovated
By nafhan on 2/9/2012 2:01:15 PM , Rating: 2
While "never innovated" is patently untrue (pun intended), it's been a while since I've seen anything really innovative out of Kodak. The past 8 or so years they have been concentrating on the low end of the market, which is now being taken over by cell phone cameras leaving no room for a company that makes only low end point and shoots.
quote:
What they could not (seemingly) do was to manage to transition their business from a film-based to a digital-image-based company
Funny thing about this: they practically invented consumer digital imaging. The first DSLR's all had Kodak sensors, for instance. So, they could definitely transition to digital, they just couldn't compete with the other digital manufacturers.


RE: Never inovated
By The0ne on 2/9/2012 3:36:15 PM , Rating: 3
I've followed this at the beginning of the digital change and Kodak just simply did not agree they should be switching over from film. Top management wanted to stay around because they view digital media to be insignificant. I was in Colorado at the time and visited their huge plant there and was stun at their casual and careless attitude towards the changing media.

Needless to say, when it boom they were far far to late to the game. Market shares were being taken from them at great speeds while their innovation in competing products pale in reviews and most importantly consumer awareness. It wasn't at least 5 years that they came out with a decent product with decent marketing to get some of the consumers back, but not enough since the market was already divided amongst the cannon, sony and so on.

If I'm not mistaken, this article is missing on alot info concerning Kodak's future. NPR had a piece about this 2 weeks back about Kodak's future, their bankruptcy and forthcoming LARGE layoffs. It also points out how times have changed when companies such as Kodak use to be large and innovate but now schools have taken up these tasks leaving them with just the core business.

IMO, Kodak will eventually become a small niche company and eventually die out because they just cannot earn enough margins to compete and survive. Upper management did a extremely poor job forecasting. This is the main reason the company is struggling.


RE: Never inovated
By nafhan on 2/9/2012 5:07:40 PM , Rating: 5
Pretty much agree. I see Kodak in the near future:
A) Getting bought for it's patents
B) Becoming even more of a patent troll as it continues to divest it's other businesses

The patents are it's one really valuable asset at this point.


RE: Never inovated
By cmdrdredd on 2/9/2012 4:02:33 PM , Rating: 2
This is true. They never shifted focus to digital the same way Canon, Nikon, and Others did.


RE: Never inovated
By espaghetti on 2/9/2012 8:54:07 PM , Rating: 2
I see what you did there.


RE: Never inovated
By RU482 on 2/10/2012 12:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
they might have invented the digital camera, but I have never used a Kodak digital camera that was worth a crap.


RE: Never inovated
By StevoLincolnite on 2/9/2012 12:48:31 PM , Rating: 2
Camera sales held steady for years, then you had the massive digital camera boom, then the camera market became saturated, then you had convergance of multiple products like the phone and camera... No where else to go but south, unless you diversify.

If Kodak was a heavy producer of camera sensors for instance, they would probably be sitting fine as companies try and cram a camera into every product.
Or if they released a "Kodak" phone with a stellar camera, would have loved to have seen that.


RE: Never inovated
By KC7SWH on 2/9/2012 1:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
Not only did the market (digital point and shoot) become saturated but Canon (I'm sure there were others as well) was beating Kodak not only on price but on picture quality as well. So they priced themselves out of the market.


RE: Never inovated
By fic2 on 2/9/2012 1:52:26 PM , Rating: 2
From my experience Kodak cameras were crap. I bought two Kodak digital for relatives - they both broke within a year.
On the other hand I have a Canon SD600 that is so old it can't take SD cards larger than 2G. It sill takes great pictures and I take it everywhere including snowboarding. I have since given a couple of Canons as gifts and the receivers love them.


RE: Never inovated
By JediJeb on 2/9/2012 6:38:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
so old it can't take SD cards larger than 2G


lol I like how that is considered old. My first digital camera was a Kodak which at the time was the best on the market picture quality wise. It had a 3.1 Megapixel sensor and I think 4x optical zoom and the memory card that came with it was a whopping 64MB which I quickly upgraded to a 256MB one. I used that camera for nearly 10 years until I left it in the back of my truck about a year ago and a sudden rain storm killed it :( It always performed flawlessly. But I heard that newer models that were crammed with more features were not as reliable.

I went last week to start looking for a new DSLR and was sad to see that one of my favorite camera makers, Minolta, was no longer in business. I used to be very into photography but with so much work have been out of the loop for several years, have to catch up on everything again, but I am hoping that digital is now near the quality of film for doing large landscape photos and astrophotography.


RE: Never inovated
By epobirs on 2/9/2012 10:58:46 PM , Rating: 2
I had an early Olympus that used the unfortunately named Smart Media cards. When the first 8 MB cards came out I bought in anticipation for a trip and it killed the camera. Turned out there was a change in the spec and the Olympus firmware took it so badly the camera was bricked and had to be factory repaired.


RE: Never inovated
By Natch on 2/10/2012 11:31:29 AM , Rating: 2
Fault of the manufacturer, or the user?

I have a 5MP Kodak camera that's 6-7 years old (same SD card limitation as yours), that still functions as well as the day I pulled it out of the box.

I have a pocket compact Kodak, 10MP model that I bought 3 years ago, that shoots 720P video, and is my day to day camera.

IMHO, Kodak made good, inexpensive cameras, and made them well.


RE: Never inovated
By maven81 on 2/9/2012 1:38:44 PM , Rating: 1
I would argue that diversification is what got them into this predicament. Seems to me that they couldn't decide whether they want to be a top notch imaging company or a consumer electronics company. Why would they get into digital photo frames in the first place? I'm pretty sure they didn't produce the LCDs, so they were basically repackaging someone else's products. I know I've also seen at least one cheapie camera that was clearly a generic knockoff with a kodak sticker on it.
They should be ashamed of themselves. They had decades of top notch optics and imaging experience. They've produced some amazing spysat optics that have only recently gotten declassified. But instead of focussing on their strong points they've chosen to market crappy "mee too" products. They definitely could have a clue from a company like Carl Zeiss, who produce lenses for several camera phones.


RE: Never inovated
By mjrichar on 2/9/2012 1:49:35 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, Kodak Image Sensor Solutions made some of the best CCDs available. Their image sensors are for high-end cameras, though, not basic photography. Think medical imaging, astronomy, semiconductor wafer inspection, etc. For some very strange reason Kodak recently spun that group off as TrueSense, which was one of the very few profitable and innovative groups they had left.


RE: Never inovated
By maven81 on 2/9/2012 1:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
The difference is that Myspace was never actually good to begin with. Kodak did have good products at one point.


RE: Never inovated
By xti on 2/9/2012 1:46:46 PM , Rating: 2
wasnt myspace larger than FB for a short time? or are you saying 'wasnt good' from an opinion about what they offered?


RE: Never inovated
By maven81 on 2/9/2012 2:36:30 PM , Rating: 1
Right, they always had a very poor and confusing layout. I think they were mainly popular because they were the only game in town at that point (unless you count something like friendster). So no matter how big they got it was clear people would jump ship when something better would come along.


Make cameras for smartphones instead?
By MrX8503 on 2/9/2012 1:05:44 PM , Rating: 3
Eventually no one is going to buy a point and shoot camera when their smartphone can do the same job. Maybe Canon, Sony, and Kodak should make the camera lens for smartphones instead to stay relevant.

I'm still rocking my fuji f31fd and I have no reason to upgrade it. I suspect most people buy a single camera and stick with it for as long its working.




By kleinma on 2/9/2012 1:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
I am pretty sure the iPhone uses a Sony made camera.. or at least a portion of the camera in the phone is made by sony.

I wouldn't be surprised if other cell phones had major company optics in theirs as well.


By JediJeb on 2/9/2012 6:54:27 PM , Rating: 2
Well my RAZR V3 doesn't have a very good camera and I doubt I will upgrade it just to get a better camera any time soon. But then I probably will not buy a point and shoot camera instead of a DSLR also. But as long as my photo guy is still in business I will keep taking film photos, but it doesn't look good for that lasting much longer either.


By Beenthere on 2/9/2012 1:29:50 PM , Rating: 2
Attn. Jason




By Brandon Hill (blog) on 2/9/2012 1:32:14 PM , Rating: 2
Fixed!


Huh?
By jarredskills on 2/9/2012 12:31:56 PM , Rating: 3
So, their solution to bankruptcy is to focus on traditional film capture business?

Someone play the sad trombone:
www.sadtrombone.com




Poor Kodak
By Slash3 on 2/9/2012 4:46:31 PM , Rating: 2
I still have an old DC280 2MP digital camera on a shelf at home, and you know what? The damn thing still works great. Can't bring myself to give it away.

:(




By BansheeX on 2/10/2012 5:28:10 AM , Rating: 1
Take note to all the socialists in here: ANY company can go bankrupt when they fail to meet the demands of consumers. No one is too large to fail, and no one is too small to take its place. Kodak and Blockbuster were virtual monopolies and now look at them. Capitalism: it works when you allow it to.




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