Today the iconic Eastman Kodak Company, once a dominant force in the photography world, announced that in the first half of this year, it will phase out its digital cameras, as well as pocket video cameras and digital picture frames. Instead the company plans to concentrate on its photo-printing services and desktop inkjet printing.
The company called the move “a result of its ongoing strategic review process and commitment to drive sustainable profitability through its most valuable business lines.” Kodak had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month.
The company was founded (as the Eastman Company) in 1889 by George Eastman, who invented roll film. In 1995 Kodak released its first consumer-level digital camera, the DC-40 Point-and-Shoot Digital Camera. Check out the company’s timeline for more details (it’s a fascinating history).
With the advent of smart phones and other devices that can take increasingly high-quality photographs, other traditional camera makers are likely feeling the heat as well. Time will tell whether they’ll adapt more successfully than Kodak.