Former dedicated camera supplier moves into smartphone sensors
On Monday [August 19th 2013], a US Bankruptcy judge Allan Gropper, approved plans which will enable the company to has restructure. As a consequence, Kodak will morph into a commercial printing company rather than one which deals directly with the public. A main activity for the new Kodak will be the supply touch-screen sensor components for smartphones and computer tablets. The news helped improve the share price of UniPixel (UNXL) its touch sensor manufacturing partner.
Kodak is planning to sell $406 million in stock to finance its efforts to emerge from Chapter 11 as a streamlined provider of commercial printing company.
UniPixel announced a partnership with Kodak back in April , through which Kodak will produce touch sensors leveraging UniPixel’s UniBoss film.
Kodak chairman, Antonio Perez, said in a statement that the company will come out of this “As a technology leader serving large and growing commercial imaging market.”
At the hearing, Judge Gropper commented, “Kodak is one of the best-known names of American business. Its decline in bankruptcy is a tragedy of American economic life.”
At its peak, Kodak employed around 145,000 people but the new Kodak is expected to have only around 8,500 workers.
The irony of this situation is that it was the emergence of the cameraphone and the success of digital tablets (with their built-in cameras) which caused the demise of Kodak in the first place.
Bankruptcy hasn’t prevented Kodak from continuing to offer a number of mobile apps – to transfer images from a smartphone to a Kodak computer printer or a Kodak Kiosk.
It also has an app that takes photos from your Facebook pages and turns them into a ‘photo book’ to bore your friends and family with.