Kodak to Exit from Camera Business

The Eastman Kodak Company, commonly known as Kodak is a name that has been long associated with camera and its evolution in the successive years. It however, planned to exit out of the business after filing for bankruptcy protection last month. The company on Thursday announced it will stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames.

The move, though considered as a part of restructuring Kodak’s Consumer Business, serves as a major blow to company’s history as a photography pioneer. Kodak, opened for business in 1880, invented digital cameras with Wi-Fi connections and touch-screens that made transferring photos to computers much easier.

The company had come a long way until the recent bankruptcy event, where it lost its strong hold in camera market and had fallen behind many competitors. The main reason for opting out was rapid improvement in the quality of digital cameras in cellphones. The event led to less relevance of stand-alone cameras in higher-end market and so getting out of the market that is declining rapidly was considered as a good idea. The other reality was company’s inability to compete with its competitors in recent years.

Pradeep Jotwani, President, Consumer Business and Kodak Chief Marketing officer said, “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 [Thursday’s] announcement is the logical extension of that process, given our analysis of the industry trends”.

 The company assumes filing for bankruptcy protection alone would help it to take charge of $30 million and will generate more than $100 million in annual operating savings. At present, Kodak is looking for selling or licensing all of its money-losing businesses, including its online photo-sharing site Kodak Gallery.

All said, Kodak’s Consumer Business unit will now only concentrate on online and retail-based photo printing, as well as desktop injet printing. However, it will continue to honor all related product warranties and provide technical support for existing Kodak Camera and digital picture frames.

This will mark the end of Kodak era which besides having the reputation for making cameras, easy to use for consumers is also famous for its photographic film contributions in movies.