Last month Eastman Kodak Co. filled for bankruptcy in an effort to stabilize the company that has been in a downward spiral since 2006. The company was in the top three camera companies in the US behind Sony and Canon and controlled 10% of market share.
These fortunes have however changed as the entry of smartphones with better cameras and the onslaught from giants such as Samsung and Epson has pushed the iconic company to near oblivion.
The company, which opened its doors in 1880, is credited with the invention of the modern-day camera, among many other photographic innovations. The company’s filling for bankruptcy comes at a time when many traditional companies are fighting for survival.
Just yesterday, the company announced that it was exiting the digital camera business and would be concentrating more on its printing business. This may be a smart move because the digital camera business has dipped 20% over the last year in the US with smartphones, especially the iPhone, being the biggest cause for this.
Kodak says in as much as the closure of its digital camera business will cost it up to $30 million in divesting costs, besides costs associated with breaching manufacturing agreements, the cost cutting effects would save the company $100 million per year.
In recent years Kodak has been playing catchup as it tries to make headway in the digital photography sector. Many, however, argue that Kodak has relied too heavily on its iconic status and has not done enough to invest in technology and aggressive marketing initiatives.
Nevertheless, the reality remains that Kodak has a long way to go if it is to reinvent itself and become a competitive participator in the 21st century economy of smart connected devices.