Two weeks ago I attended a Kodak launch of their new printers, the Hero 2.2 and Hero 4.2. Kodak proudly gave us the details of their new printers. Impressive stuff, but not earth shattering. Over the last week I have spent many hours compiling a review of four multifunction printers from Epson, Hp, Canon and Kodak. To be more precise I was the first reviewer to get hold of the new Kodak 4.2.
OK the Hero 4.2 did a good job, not the best quality I have seen but it was OK. No sooner had I submitted the full review then I received the following email from Kodak’s PR agency.
As a follow-up to the Kodak Inkjet printer briefing 2 weeks ago we wanted to alert you of some company news that was issued this afternoon.
Kodak has announced that as a result of its process to emerge as a growing, profitable and sustainable company, from 2013 onwards it will focus its Consumer Inkjet business on serving its installed based with the sale of ink and paper. This means that printer sales will wind down in 2013, and more specifically, we will not be launching the latest Hero 2.2 and Hero 4.2 printers as initially planned.
Kodak has successfully built a large base of loyal customers in Europe and will continue to supply ink over the expected lifetime of the printer and for as long as consumer demand remains robust. We remain committed to existing and new consumers by continuing to provide ink at the lowest average cost per page*, and customers and retailers will also continue to receive the same levels of service and support that they have come to expect from Kodak.
We would like to thank you for your support and wanted to ensure that you were informed of this news as soon as possible so that you have the correct and most up-to-date information for any articles you had planned to write. If you have further questions around this announcement please let me know.
Kodak would seem to be in deep trouble, they filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, they stopped making digital cameras last year and now they are shutting down their inkjet printer business, although inks will still be available for the life of a printer (usually a couple or more years) – I guess there must be a stock pile of inks somewhere.
Unfortunately as a consequence 200 jobs are going to be lost adding to the 1000 that have already been announced. So far Kodak has cut 2700 jobs this year. Kodak at its peak employed more than 60,000 people, this latest job cuts will reduce the workforce to 13,100
Kodak, said it expects to incur a charge of $90 million related to the wind-down of the inkjet business. Lexmark also announced that they too would pull out of the inkjet printer market. Maybe manufacturers haven’t quite cottoned on to the fact that many people are now using mobile devices to upload and share their photos on social media sites.
Kodak, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year after struggling to adapt to the digital age, said it has received “significant interest” from suitors for its printing kiosks and scanner businesses.
Kodak is still in talks to sell its patents, estimated to be worth between $2.2 billion and $2.6 billion, they have submitted a motion to a bankruptcy court to extend their right to file a reorganization plan until February 2013. They may also abandon an auction to sell off over 1,000 digital imaging patents in favour of setting up a new licensing company to repay creditors.
We have all grown up with Kodak, let’s hope they can wave a magic wand and survive.