Kodak to withdraw from digicam market

Discussion in 'News' started by mark u, May 23, 2007.

  1. Kodak seem finally to have realised that they aren't going to make money making
    digicams, and have decided to withdraw from the market. They do plan to make
    CMOS sensors for Motorola cellphones.

    http://www.trustedreviews.com/digital-cameras/news/2007/05/24/Kodak-Kills-Off-Budget-Cams-Hooks-Up-With-Motorola/p1

    Doubtless they will have to pay out compensation to Flextronics, the company
    they agreed to outsource production to only a few months ago. The decision
    leaves CEO Antonio Perez' digital strategy in tatters, and Kodak without an own
    brand camera for consumers (except for disposable film cameras) for the first
    time since they came out with the Brownie.
     
  2. Changing times......
     
  3. ...are Kodak actually planning to STAY in any markets?
     
  4. "...are Kodak actually planning to STAY in any markets?"

    Now that would be news!
     
  5. They say they are going to drop out of the 'low-end' of the digital camera market.
    So the questions is where the low end finishes and the middle bit begins?
    And are they still going to make ANY digi-cams?

    Personally I doubt that seriously as the already dropped out of the 'pro-end' a few years back.

    Maybe the 'middle-market', eg. Sony 828 type super-zooms to low-end SLR like Nikon D40, makes most profit at the moment, but I doubt Kodak stands any chance if they scrap everything else.
     
  6. "Doubtless they will have to pay out compensation to Flextronics, the company they agreed to outsource production to only a few months ago."

    Why? Did Kodak promise a certain amount of production to be outsourced or is it just whatever production it happens to need?
     
  7. They say they are going to drop out of the 'low-end' of the digital camera market. So the questions is where the low end finishes and the middle bit begins?
    Maybe they're going to keep making DSLRs ... er, no, they bailed on that, too :)
     
  8. Maybe Kodak should just charge more for their low end cameras and call them mid tier! It's all in the marketing. They could hire Paris Hilton to sell their low end stuff. (not a serious comment)
     
  9. I remember when they announced they were bidding farewell to film... makes you wonder what would have happened if they had stuck with what they were actually known for: those little yellow rolls of film that seem so quaint nowadays... Why do companies like this keep covincing themselves that chopping off their own foot is the answer? I had to have a little cruel fun at Kodak's expense.
     
  10. Their Professional inkjet photo paper is really very nice. I hope they keep making it. Perhaps they are getting back to where they were prior to the mass market transition to digital - suppliers of photographic material, as opposed to equipment. If they could partner up with a software company, they might even offer post-production software. There are many possibilities for Kodak, but they need a business plan going forward.

    Michael J Hoffman
     
  11. I really wish Kodak would return to the high end of digital photography. They could perhaps learn to make sensors economically and team up with Nikon and others. Try to cut down the cost of their 2*35mm FF sensor.

    I can't for the life of me see them do well in the inkjet market. Too cheesey marketing, nobody selling the equipment at least where I am.

    Kodak is still making film. It's the buyers who are apparently missing in that sector.
     
  12. Kodak still makes film.

    Kodak also makes the majority of the sensors that go into "medium format' high resolution backs.
     
  13. "Kodak still makes film. Kodak also makes the majority of the sensors that go into "medium format' high resolution backs."

    That's a pretty underwhelming list of accomplishments. Film sales are spiralling down the toilet and Fuji is fighting for the sale of every roll, Hasselblad is locking out back makers from its latest camera, and MF digital sales are ... where, exactly?
     
  14. I wish Kodak would return to high-end digicams again, too. I was fortunate to work on their DCS line of cameras, including the ProBack, so I got to shoot them all the time. They were by far the best in the industry. The trouble is that our CCD sensors were too expensive to put into our own cameras, so they went with a 3rd party CMOS sensor for the ProSLR and things haven't been the same since. It's just too bad. I think I left at just the right time.
     
  15. "I wish Kodak would return to high-end digicams again, too"

    They weren't very good at it, and they had significant costs in engineering and supporting two different mount models, in addition to keeping up with competition AND dealing with annoyed customers of their sensors whom they were competing with. So they decided to just be a sensor supplier.... but they can't compete with price/performance at the APS-size, and the market for medium format sensors is quite small and not growing (much? at all?).

    Kodak's best bet would be to merge itself with Fuji and create a Best Of Breed company doing (the last gasp of) film as well as sharing some excellent sensor IP. I doubt they'd be allowed to merge for competitive reasons, and I doubt the two cultures, eviscerated by layoff as they are, would easily meld anyway.
     
  16. I don't know what they should do but I will miss Kodak if it vanishes. I do enjoy the UC film (120) but have noticed it is not available at BHphoto.
     
  17. One area where Kodak should still have a market is photo paper. No matter what type or brand of camera you use, the end product still has to be printed or developed on photo paper. I love their Endura and Metallic papers.
     
  18. Kodak: Trying to imitate General Motors. A quitter company. Too many bureacrats sitting on their asses, too few engineers with ideas.
     
  19. "Hasselblad is locking out back makers from its latest camera, and MF digital sales are ... where, exactly?"

    pretty close to a billion USD a year if not slightly over it. Phase One owns over 60% of the market.
     
  20. I wonder where those numbers come from.

    I know that Dalsa earned $186 million with only $11 million profit, and that wasn't purely from MF digital. In 2006, Jenoptik/Sinar's digital imaging division only earned 38 million euros. A year ago, Mamiya decided to sell its camera business to Cosmo, in large part due to lackluster sales of its MF digital. I think the entire market is probably stagnating, but I'd entertain hard stats that suggest otherwise.
     
  21. I can hear Bob Hope singing, "Thanks for the memories..."
     
  22. Interesting.

    Their new version Portra films (the 160NC and 800 especially) are said to be outstanding with even finer grains! :) :)
     
  23. Kodak is busy developing a new digital camera to bring to market. It is a proprietary camera, that uses a proprietary sensor, and a proplietary memory card. Sort of like 828, 110, disc, Instamatic, APS, lets see, are there any other hair brained schemes I missed. Personally, I think they have been sliding down the slipery slope for decades. Only now, the cliff at the bottom is in sight. I know all of the "schemes" I mentioned brought millions into their coffers, but it left millions with cameras that were trash the moment the fad was over. They did as much to discourage photography as to encourage it. Just my opinion.
     
  24. I suspect that Kodak is way behind Fuji in photo paper sales in the US at this point. That's because Fuji is the market leader in minilabs, and they convince most of their customers to buy Fuji Crystal Archive paper.

    Kodak deliberately avoided the minilab business, because they didn't want to "disrupt" their "photofinisher" market. You know, all the central labs film used to go to, including (of course) Kodak's own ones. Well, Fuji disrupted that market just fine, and Kodak just has their "partnership" with Noritsu.

    A lesson I learned when I worked at Proteon (a computer networking company): if you don't compete with yourself (but are able to), undercutting your old high-margin products with new more cost-effective ones, your competition will be glad to do it for you.

    It's hard to heed that lesson anywhere, but especially at a company that was once a monopoly. Bureaucracies get very ossified at monopolists.
     

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