Not that any of you use them...
No more Kodak cameras
07:53 AM Feb 10, 2012
NEW YORK - Eastman Kodak, the inventor of the digital camera, plans to get out of that business in the first half of the year as the bankrupt company looks to cut costs.
The decision to stop selling digital cameras along with pocket video cameras and digital picture frames marks the end of an era for Kodak, which also invented the handheld camera.
Kodak, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month, said yesterday that getting out of cameras would result in "significant" job losses. Most of the 400 people in that business are based in New York, and work in research and development and marketing.
The news comes as Kodak meets obstacles in another cost-cutting move tied to its illustrious past. The company will be unable to end its 20-year sponsorship of the Hollywood Theatre that hosts the Academy Awards before this year's Oscars.
Along with its reputation for making easy-to-use cameras for consumers, Kodak is also famous for its camera and photographic film contributions in movies.
Now, instead of designing its own cameras, Kodak will try to license its brand to other camera makers, several of which have already expressed "significant interest", said a Kodak spokesman.
Kodak, which as recently as 2006 was one of the top three digital camera makers in the world, will stick with its desktop printer business, on which it has focused more recently. However, even in printers, Kodak is far from the top of the pile. It still lags in sixth place in the United States market despite being the only brand to grow in the double-digit percentage range in the last two years, according to NPD Group research.
"The printer initiative took over (in the last decade), and they took their eye off the ball in the camera and camcorder space," said IDC analyst Christopher Chute.
Kodak, which opened for business in 1880, also invented digital cameras with Wi-Fi connections and touch-screens as well as docking stations that made it easy to transfer photos to computers, according to IDC.
These were among the products that gave Kodak a 10-per-cent market share in 2006, behind Canon and Sony. By 2010 it had dropped to seventh place behind rivals like Nikon and Samsung, according to IDC.
But as the quality of digital cameras in mobile phones improved, stand-alone cameras' relevance became somewhat limited to the higher-end market, where Kodak did not compete in recent years.
The company will take a charge of about US$30 million (S$37.5 million) to leave the business. It expects the exit to generate more than US$100 million in annual operating savings. THE NEW YORK TIMES
As long as their tits are bigger than their dicks, im in.
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