View Full Version : Kodak has officially given in for Chapter 11

19-01-12, 10:52




Kodak: 130 years of history
From the invention of film stored in rolls to the creation of the first digital camera, Kodak has been one of the most innovative photography companies for more than a century. But it has struggled to remain competitive in the face of cheaper film produced in Japan and, later, digital cameras from China.

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02113/kodak_2113522b.jpg Kodak stopped selling 35mm colour film in 2009 after 74 years of production.

1884 - American inventor George Eastman patents photographic film stored in a roll. Four years later he had perfected the first camera to take advantage of his invention.

1892 - The company which would eventually be called Kodak was founded in Rochester, New York. The meaningless name was chosen because it was impossible to mispronounce and was disimilar to any existing words.

1900 - The Brownie camera was launched with a price of $1, bringing photography to the mass market. The basic cardboard box took square images on 2 film.

1930 - The Eastman Kodak Company launched on the Dow Jones Industrial Average index, where it would remain for 74 years.

1969 - The film used on the Apollo 11 missions was manufactured by Kodak. Each double-perforated 70mm roll could capture 160 colour pictures or 200 black and white images.

1975 - Kodak was the first company to build a working digital camera. An Eastman Kodak engineer named Steven Sasson created the 3.6kg device that stored images on cassette tape (http://www.google.com/patents?vid=4131919), had a 0.01mp resolution and took 23 seconds to expose each image.
1976 - Kodak had a 90pc market share for photographic film and an 85pc share of camera sales in the US.
1994 - Apple launched one of the first consumer digital cameras, the QuickTake. It was actually designed by Kodak and had been released months before Apple's version in Japan under its own brand name. The camera took photos at a resolution of 640 by 480 pixels.
2004 - Kodak stopped selling film cameras in the face of increasingly popular digital alternatives.
2005 - Kodak was the largest seller of digital cameras in the US, with revenue reaching $5.7bn. By 2007 it had fallen to fourth place and by 2010 to seventh.
2009 - Kodak stopped selling 35mm colour film after 74 years of production.
2011 - Over the course of the year Kodak shares fell by more than 80pc as it struggled to maintain market share and was hit with huge pension costs for workers.
2012 - Kodak files for chapter 11 bankruptcy (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/9024382/Kodak-files-for-Chapter-11-bankruptcy-protection.html).

Kodak's worst moment: Iconic 132-year-old photo firm pays price for failing to dent digital market as it files for bankruptcy

Failed to find buyer for digital imaging patents
Sale would have raised firm billions of dollars
Obtains $950million credit to keep firm going

Photography firm Kodak has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection - as it pays the price for failing to embrace the digital revolution.

The once-iconic photographic film pioneer has failed to find a buyer for its trove of 1,100 digital imaging patents which would have raised billions of dollars.
The 132-year-old company, which invented the handheld camera, has now obtained a $950million, 18-month credit loan from Citigroup to keep it going as it undergoes bankruptcy reorganisation.
Scroll down to see some of Kodak's television adverts...

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/01/19/article-2088718-0F86971300000578-420_634x857.jpg Glossy: Kodak was renowned for its striking images that appeared in magazines and newspapers for more than a century

CEO Antonio Perez said in a statement that the bankruptcy filing is 'a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak'.
And he revealed staff at the Rochester, NY-based firm, the full name of which is Eastman Kodak, will continue to be paid during the reorganisation.

Kodak has been pummelled by foreign competition in recent years. It has also been severely shaken by the digital revolution, with many criticising the firm for not embracing the medium sooner than it eventually did.
And although it has invested huge sums in new lines of inkjet printers, they are only just on the verge of turning a profit - which could be too late for the firm.


Good old days: A 1913 advert for Kodak's roll film folding camera (left), while a girl takes a photograph with a Kodak box Brownie camera in 1935 (right)

Founded by George Eastman in 1880, Kodak marketed the world's first flexible roll film in 1888 and turned photography into an overnight craze with a $1 Brownie camera in 1900.

Innovation and mass production were about to put the world into cars and airplanes, the American Century was unfolding, and Kodak was ready to record it.


Kodak has notched just one profitable year since 2004.

At the end of a four-year digital makeover during which it dynamited aged factories, chopped and changed businesses and eliminated tens of thousands more jobs, it closed 2007 on a high note with net income of $676 million.

It soon ran smack into the recession - and its momentum slipped into reverse.

Years of investor alarm over whether Kodak might seek protection from its creditors crescendoed in September when it hired major restructuring law firm Jones Day as an adviser.

Its stock, which topped $94 in 1997, skidded below $1 a share for the first time and, by January 6, hit an all-time closing low of 37 cents.

Intent on keeping his work force happy - they never organised a union - Eastman helped pioneer profit-sharing and, in 1912, began dispensing a generous wage dividend.

Going to work for Kodak - 'taking the life sentence', as it was called - became a bountiful rite of passage for generations.

Propelled by Eastman's marketing genius, the 'Great Yellow Father' held a virtual monopoly of the U.S. photographic industry by 1927.

But long after Eastman was stricken with a degenerative spinal disorder and took his own life in 1932, Kodak retained its mighty perch with a succession of magical innovations.

Foremost was Kodachrome, a slide and motion-picture film extolled for 74 years until its demise in 2009 for its sharpness, archival durability and vibrant hues.

In the 1960s, easy-load Instamatic 126 became one of the most popular cameras ever, practically replacing old box cameras.

In 1975, engineer Steven Sasson created the first digital camera, a toaster-size prototype capturing black-and-white images at a resolution of 0.1 megapixels.

Through the 1990s, Kodak splurged $4 billion on developing the photo technology inside most cellphones and digital devices.
Sad Moment here, But not surprising for the company itself


19-01-12, 11:01
Not so sure what you mean by "sad moment". They're down, but not out yet. They've filed for bankruptcy protection, they're not actually bankrupt (like those articles you quoted seem to suggest in places).

19-01-12, 11:13
They also managed to borrow $950m somehow to keep the company going so they can restructure and go digital. I'm not sure how that means Kodak's gone? :confused:

Zelda master
19-01-12, 11:25
They are still going, but still sad news to see a company like this maybe go out. Weird but I really have fond memories of those old film rolls and negative's that you would get back after development :D

19-01-12, 11:31
They're not gone yet, but they're in big trouble, and I'm not sure how they plan on solving that. Films are right out, and I don't think they can make a lot of money with prints and printing equipment.

When it comes to selling cameras, in the low end, there is way too much competition, from established companies, cheap chinese ones and also cell phones, which keep getting better (not truly good, but often good enough). Kodak won't be able to have high margins there. And that competition is rapidly expanding into the mid-range market, too. At the high (and high-ish) end, there is more money, but the professional photographers and prosumers all have investment in lenses and want some assurance that their chosen camera system will be supported for many years. Historically, Kodak has no experience with high-end DSLRs. So they would probably not be able to get a significant market share, at least not within the first five years or so, and it's not as if they have time to spare.

Well, we'll see how this all goes.

19-01-12, 14:39
Time to buy stock in them tbh.