Kodak to stop making cameras

I know this is old news but I’m surprised no one’s brought it up yet:


This is like if Coca Cola stopped making Coke. :frowning:

No surprise here. I saw this coming when digital cameras first started up, the beginning of the end.

Kodak came up with the first digital camera. Nikon, Cannon, Olympia were all camera companies before the digital era, but Kodak was the biggest. They did a poor job of keeping up though and thus their demise. Did anyone catch Billy Crystal’s joke at the Oscar’s this week. “Welcome to the chapter 11 theater”

There might be that this is one of those things that are different in Europe and USA, but I grew up in Eu the eighties and have never real considered Kodak do be anything else than a film brand. Kodak as a camera brand haven’t had much of a presence here for decades, or not to my knowledge at least.

The thing that separates Kodak from Nikon, Canon, Olympus and Fuji as I see it is that Kodak seems to have focused on making cheap simple cameras in order to sell film (or at least seems to have switched their focus more in that direction). The other makers have been pushing camera technology further and have had more pro oriented cameras that probably has helped the brand image. I can’t name a single Kodak camera from the last 4-5 decades (and I’m an eager hobby photographer). The only Kodak camera I can name is the “Brownie”, and that was more of T-Ford of cameras: it brought photography to the masses… and was launched in 1900!!

My point is: when I read that Kodak is to stop making cameras my first thought was “Oh, that’s right, they still sell some cameras”. Kodak is in many ways the company that missed its own ‘Kodak moment’, they seemed to have stopped developing their products totally confident that they could sell film for ever. (and they even made the first digital camera)

In doing a little research a few years back I found out that they owned a lot of patents on OLED technology, I wonder if that’s still the case…

Cameras were actually a very small part of Kodak’s portfolio and profit center.

My guess is that they will license the name to some Asian OEM or VC who will slap the brand on some run-of-the-mill digital cameras. Look at what happened to Philips, Polaroid, Westinghouse, Zenith, …

Kodak themselves was making run of the mill digital cameras some time. Unbearably poor is more like it.

Someone will buy the IP portfolio, and then scrap the company. Next up…RIM.

As for RIM, I’m not so sure. It can turn around massively. It has the expertise to design innovative solutions.

So did Motorola…but ultimately a bigger fish came along and said “lemme eat your IP sandwich and spit out your innovation bones”.

Consumer electronics companies are gobbling up as much IP as they can, and if you look at RIM’s standing of recently it doesn’t matter how great they can engineer or innovate a product, the chances of them getting gobbled up looks pretty realistic within the forseeable future.

Maybe they can hire lady gaga away from Polaroid to be their new design director, that worked wonders for them.

Side note, here is a really good story via NPR’s Planet Money & This American Life about patent trolling and it talks about how companies like Google and Apple just buy up tons of patents not to use, but to have as defense for any potential lawsuit.

And a great story from CBS Sunday Morning (my favorite show on TV) about that last Kodachrome processing facility shutting down.

Wow! That is messed up! Thanks for a good story worth reading.