Some interesting decisions announced by Kodak
The press release headline says "Kodak to Accelerate 35mm Consumer Film Effort in Emerging Markets," but the interesting part is that the photo giant will actually stop selling reloadable 35mm cameras in the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe at the end of the year. In addition, it will cease selling reloadable APS format cameras -- such as Advantix -- worldwide.
The reason behind the decisions is simple: The digital revolution has decreased consumer demand for traditional products to the point that it's not worth the effort to make and sell them. Not to be overly dramatic about it, but this is indeed a watershed moment. While we may have long seen this coming, it's still a bit amazing to think that Kodak will no longer sell 35mm cameras in the U.S.
Consumer tastes are not the same the world over, however. In emerging markets such as China, India, Eastern Europe, and Latin America, the company is actually going to step up its commitment to 35mm cameras because sales there are increasing at double-digit rates. And, regardless of where you live, you'll be able to buy 35mm film for a long time to come.
The moves are all part of Kodak's controversial transition away from its previous core business into the hot digital market. Critics say that segment is too competitive, but it's hard to see how management could have done anything else. The stock price -- which is up some on today's news -- has dropped roughly 60% over the last five years.
What do you think of the decline of the 35mm camera? Give us a snapshot of your thoughts on the Eastman Kodak discussion board.