ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Eastman Kodak Co. said today that it will stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras, and digital picture frames, marking the end of an era for the company that brought photography to the masses more than a century ago.
Founded by George Eastman in 1880, Kodak was known all over the world for its Brownie and Instamatic cameras and its yellow-and-red film boxes. But the company was battered by Japanese competition in the 1980s, and was then unable to keep pace with the shift from film to digital technology.
The Rochester, N.Y.-based company, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month, said it will phase out the product lines in the first half of this year and instead look for other companies to license its brand for those products. Once the products are phased out, Kodak said its consumer business will focus on photo printing and desktop inkjet printers.
Kodak said it's working with its retailers to ensure an orderly transition. The company will continue to honor product warranties and provide technical support for the discontinued products.
The moves are expected to result in annual savings of more than $100 million. The company didn't say how many jobs would be eliminated as a result of the decision, but did say that it expects to take a charge of $30 million related to separation costs.
Do you own a Kodak camera? What's your reaction to this news?
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