Kodak quits the camera business

Photography pioneer Eastman Kodak, whose cheap Brownie camera brought photography to the masses a century ago, said it would stop producing cameras altogether as its struggles through bankruptcy.

Kodak said it would close down its "capture devices business" - digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames - and focus its efforts on photo printing and printers.

But it could license out its brand for other producers of cameras.

"Kodak's strategy has been to improve margins in the capture device business by narrowing our participation in terms of product portfolio, geographies and retail outlets," said Kodak consumer businesses president Pradeep Jotwani.

"Today's announcement is the logical extension of that process, given our analysis of the industry trends," he said in a statement.

Kodak, which sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and entered a restructuring program last month, dominated the US cameras and film business decades ago but failed to keep pace with the boom in digital cameras in the mid-1990s.

Phasing out its cameras arm will save Kodak more than US$100 million in operating costs, it said.

- AFP

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