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It feels a bit surreal reporting on Kodak's decision to ditch its dedicated capture devices business, including digital cameras, pocket video cameras, and digital picture frames. In a weird sort of way, it's a bit like the death of Tony the Tiger's real life voice in 2005, only Kodak is still alive, albeit on life support after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a couple of weeks ago.
In place of its deceased camera business, Kodak says it will now focus on expanding its current brand licensing program. On the consumer side, Kodak will maintain its online and retail-based photo printing and desktop inkjet printing ventures.
"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 take a $30 million charge as it exits the camera business and expects to shave more than a $100 million off of its annual operating expenses, which should help it pay back the millions of dollars it owes to Hollywood studios for outstanding flim rebates.
The very first Kodak camera appeared in 1888. It used roll film and took round pictures 2.5 inches in diameter.