Kodak has announced overnight that it will stop making digital cameras and photo frames and focus the attention of focus its Consumer Business on ‘Personal & Professional Imaging Products and Services’.
These products include:
– Retail-based photo kiosks and digital dry lab systems.
– Kodak Facebook apps that make it easy for consumers to obtain photo products using photos from their Facebook albums.
– The Kodak camera accessories and batteries businesses.
– The traditional film capture and photographic paper business.
– Consumer inkjet printers.
This announcement by the financially-troubled company should surprise nobody and it can’t be seen as a viable way out of the company’s current problems. According to long-time imaging guru, Thom Hogan: The future for images is clearly cloud-stored, wireless displayed on whatever device screen you desire. It is not “print it on paper”… Kodak is now on Death Watch, AFAIC. To win in printers, they have to beat HP, Lexmark, Epson, Brother, and Canon, who will all definitely fight hard to protect their territory. Worldwide, those companies were about 85% of the printer market in 2010, and year-to-year growth is modest (maybe 15%). This is no different than the challenge in cameras: there you have to beat Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, Olympus, and others that hold more than 80% of the market, and the year-to-year growth is non-existent. I don’t see a lot of difference in the market Kodak chose to exit versus the one it choose to stay in.
Commenting on the global announcement, Adrian Fleming, Managing Director, Kodak Australasia, said: “Kodak Australasia will continue to operate as usual, with our consumer business now focusing predominately on online and retail-based photo printing services. Our Commercial Printing Business continues to prosper and will be a large focus area for Kodak Australasia going forward. Kodak Australasia employees will not be impacted by this announcement and it is business as usual for Australia and New Zealand“.