Is Eastman Kodak
Today, Eastman Kodak announced it will team up with IBM
This shows that Kodak is stepping more fully into photography's future, as opposed to being mired in its past. Another announcement, released in the wee hours of the night, announced that Kodak will close its Australian plant, where it once cranked out color photographic paper. In August, Kodak purchased National Semiconductor's
It's not hard to imagine why Kodak wouldn't covet a piece of the camera-phone action. This year, some analysts expect 100 million camera phones to fly off the shelves, versus 20 million digital cameras. The Semiconductor Industry Association says the market for digital cameras is forecast to grow by 27% in 2004. The SIA also sees optoelectronics device sales projected to grow by 37.3 percent to $13.1 billion in 2004 and to $16.9 billion in 2007. Optoelectronics include image sensors used in camera phones.
In addition, there's room for growth in camera phones, considering that many still feature murky picture quality. The next generation of camera phones will bring the photo quality closer to that of digital cameras. If Kodak can get into the action there, that could be quite a boon.
However, before investors get too excited about Kodak's fortunes related to this deal, there's heavy competition to think about. Omnivision
Although Kodak trades at what sounds like a low forward P/E of 12, there's still a lack of resolution when it comes to its transition into the digital photography universe. And while Kodak's making moves that aim toward continued viability, it's got plenty of competition that's already looking for the perfect shot.
For more on Kodak, read the following Foolish coverage:
- Kodak's Digital Focus, by Phil Wohl
- CVS's Bright Picture, by Steven Mallas
- Kodak Out of AOL's Pictures, by Steven Mallas
Have you gone digital yet? Share photography tips on our Photography discussion board.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.