Eastman Kodak Company announced yesterday that it will discontinue supplying ‘dedicated capture devices’ – digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames – in the first half of 2012, winding down production in the next few weeks.
‘As a result of its ongoing strategic review process,’ the Kodak press release said, ‘and drive to rapidly improve profitability, it [Kodak] will focus its Consumer Business on personal and professional imaging products and services.
‘These include online and retail-based photo printing, as well as wedding, school and souvenir photo imaging businesses – areas that offer the most significant opportunities for profitable growth.
‘While the company will discontinue production in the first quarter, it will work closely with its retail partners to ensure an orderly transition, continuing to honour all warranties, and providing technical support and service for its cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames.
‘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 says it expects to achieve annual savings of more than $100 million as a result of the move. It will cost $30 million in severance and other separation benefits.
The Kodak brand could be licensed to another manufacturer of cameras and frames.
The Kodak consumer product and service portfolio now consists of:
– Photographic film and paper;
– Retail-based photo kiosks and digital dry lab systems. Kodak claims it has more than 100,000 kiosks and order stations for dry lab systems around the world, with some 30,000 of those units connected to the most popular photo-sharing sites.
– Kodak Facebook apps;
– Camera accessories and batteries;
– Consumer inkjet printers.
‘Kodak Australasia will continue to operate as usual, with our consumer business now focusing predominately on online and retail-based photo printing service,’s said Adrian Fleming, managing director, Kodak Australasia. ‘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.
COMMENT: Don’t want to kick Kodak when they are obviously down, but nonsense needs to be called for what it is. Re-read this quote from the ‘chief marketing officer’ : ‘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.’
– So you improve margins by reducing your participation. The ‘logical extension’ of that is reducing participation to the point of non-participation?? Why not just say ‘we are getting out of these products because we can’t make any money from them’?
This is reminiscent of one annual report a few years back when Eastman Kodak, explaining yet another woeful financial result, said they wouldn’t have lost as much money as they did in digital imaging but they sold more digital cameras than they expected. True story!