Paul Simon may have sung, “Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away” but that’s exactly what Kodak is doing today– at least for its digital capture products. After filing for bankruptcy protection last month, the imaging company announced today that they are ceasing production of their EasyShare digital cameras, handheld video cameras and digital picture frames during the first half of 2012. This move is expected to save the cash-strapped company $100 million. The company will continue its line of consumer printers, in-store kiosks, online photo printing service, Kodak Gallery online and Facebook apps as well as its commercial imaging businesses.
Companies file for bankruptcy and discontinue production all the time, but this is a big about face for Kodak, the company that invented the first handheld camera in 1888. As recently as CES last month, Kodak introduced new cameras, camcorders and digital frames. Thankfully, the Kodak will continue to honor all warranties and provide support for its existing products, so if you found an EasyShare camera under the tree this past Christmas, you won’t be left hanging.
The company will license the Kodak brand name to other manufacturers to use on their products, which will presumably include cameras, camcorders, and digital frames. It sounds similar to the tactic Polaroid employed a few years ago after it filed for bankruptcy and was reformed as a licensing entity. Hopefully, Kodak will have an easier time of it than Polaroid did, as that company went through years of turmoil between the time it filed for bankruptcy in 2001 and came under control of PLR IP Holdings in 2009.
Image via Kodak.com