End of an era: Kodak to stop making cameras

“Eastman Kodak Co, the bankrupt inventor of the hand-held camera, plans to stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames in the first half of 2012 in a bid to cut costs,” Reuters reports. “The move marks the end of an era for Kodak, which is seen as one of the biggest corporate casualties of the digital age, after it failed to quickly embrace modern technologies such as digital photography, a product that it also invented.”

“The company, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month, said on Thursday that the move would result in ‘significant’ job losses at the business, which employs 400 people most of whom are based in Rochester, New York,” Reuters reports. “Kodak will take a charge of about $30 million to leave the business. It expects the exit to generate more than $100 million in annual operating savings. Kodak has not disclosed its employee numbers since the end of 2010 when it announced that it had a work force of 18,800 employees.”

Reuters reports, “The company, which generates three-quarters of its revenue from digital, plans to instead focus on seeking licensees to expand its brand licensing program. It plans to continue to offer online and retail photo printing, and desktop printers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We knew it was coming, but still… wow.

Related articles:
Apple claims ownership of digital photography patents asserted by Kodak – January 20, 2012
Kodak files for bankruptcy, secures $950 million lifeline – January 19, 2012

44 Comments

  1. It’s sad that the technology it invented is the cause of its demise.

    I’m very surprised that no one has put in a bid to buy the company, given the value of the patents held.

    My company owned the first Kodak digital camera and although the resolution was extremely low and there was a lot of artefacts due to the high compression used (memory was very expensive), it did show the potential of the technology.

    Very sad day indeed!

      1. Kodak also holds a lot of property containing significant amounts of pollution as well as vast amounts of now redundant film, paper and chemistry manufacturing equipment. IOW: Kodak holds a lot of bad ‘assets’ that no one wants.

        Selling their patents has far better prospects than selling the company.

  2. Oh well, they make more suing others than on their cheaply made products anyway. So Kodak is now more synonymous with a “Sue-wage Plant” than photography! ;-P

    1. I think the taxpayers should bail them out like GM.

      Joke. Right? Much as I appreciate GM finally getting their act together after all these DECADES of neglecting their business, GM should NEVER have been bailed out. They should have gone bankrupt, as Kodak has done, and dealt with their problems from there. It’s called “Capitalism“. Remember that?

  3. I remember when Kodak was running their ads touting the superiority of film to digital capture, and I thought,
    “Kodak sees the future, and instead of embracing and innovating to profit along with it, Kodak is trying to convince people not to look behind the curtain. This does not bode well for Kodak.”

    And when I saw Kodak’s half-hearted, back-ass attempt to market digital still cameras, with their ridiculous docking stations, I thought,
    “Kodak is dead.”

    1. Kodak was at least in decay mode. Imagine what those of us with half-a-brain working at Kodak were thinking. I got to work directly with the Digital Imagining division. OMFG what a catastrophic mess of half-hearted, half-assed products thanks to dimwit Marketing-As-Management in charge. R&D is doomed when marketing minds are in charge. I left and felt sorry for those who stayed behind.

  4. No big loss in Kodak not manufacturing digital camera. The fact is that they suck at it. Kodak was never in the business of manufacturing cameras. They made devices which consumed film. The Instamatic was a lousy camera but boy, could it burn through film! Cameras made by Kodak today are no better than the Instamatic, only, the new cameras don’t burn any film.

  5. I got my first camera when I was a kid, back in the the late 60’s. I believe it was a Kodak Brownie Fiesta R4. I just found it probably sold for only $9.00!

    A lens I bought last year was about $2,400.00, which could have bought a car at that time. Of course the quality of the images I get today would have been science fiction back then.

    I wouldn’t want to go back to the old Brownie, but I wish I still had it.

      1. Rochester is growing and thriving.

        I concur. The north side of the city is suffering and it shows. But compared to most of the rest of the country, and even the rest of New York, Rochester’s economy is doing remarkably well. The slow decay of several key businesses in Rochester has been ongoing for decades. Kodak contributed vast resources to the city. But Rochester watched it happening and responded. It remains a great city for technology, creativity, education.

        Rochester also has one of the greatest Mac user groups in the country (I say with a conflict of interest, having been on its board).

  6. One day when all of us have tablets ala Star Trek PADD to do all our reading in, we won’t need to print documents out any more. In fact with my iPad I print 5% of the documents I used to – it’s much more convenient reading it on the iPad than on paper.

    I foresee the day when HP’s print division will go down the drain with a great big sucking sound and HP, with the Microsoft ball & chain around its neck, will fall down from its pedestal like Kodak.

    1. Our network printers at work prints between 25k to 100k pages per printer annually. At home I have 3 network printers that are rarely used but I don’t think we’ll be paperless at work anytime soon.

      1. I remember reading about the promise of the paperless office back in the late 1970’s. At the time, I had my first printer at home and I had to buy paper from specialist suppliers. These days, you buy printer paper in packs of 250 or 500 from any supermarket.

        Far from being paperless, we seem to use much more of it.

  7. Kodak’s still around?

    Seriously, though, that management team was comprised of a bunch of idiots since the mid-90s. They had every opportunity to ride the technology wave, and instead put their heads in the sand.

    I feel bad for the trench workers at the company, but the executive teams got exactly what they deserved.

  8. Many years ago I worked on Kodak commercials for an instant film Polaroid-type camera that later was dropped when they were sued for patent infringement by Polaroid. Kodak consumer hardware was always lamely designed and built. They are the victim of astonishingly bad head-in-the-sand management.

  9. Kodak had the ability to be at the forefront of digital cameras. They never invested in serious DSLR’s like everyone else and focused on simple, consumer type cameras and even on this focus, it was very weak. Kodak has made good cameras but
    like Peter Blood says, think Kodak is a great company run by bad management.

    1. Actually Kodak had some serious DSLR cameras way back. They were called DCS Pro SLR which used Nikon lenses and the cameras were essentially Nikon bodies. They (management) just didn’t have a clue what they had or what to do.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.