Having quit the camera busness after 130 or so years last month, Eastman Kodak has now withdrawn from the manufacture of slide film, with an announcement this week that E-6-compatible Ektachrome and Elite will no longer be manufactured.
At the same time, the company announced a 15 percent increase in the price of its slide films. Kodak says E-6 chemistry will still be available.
Kodak’s professional color-negative and black-and-white films will also continue to be manufactured.
Eastman Kodak is also dispensing with its Kodak Gallery business, selling to competitor Shutterfly. The business’ 75 million customers will be handed over for $23.8 million (about 30 cents/customer!), in the absence of a higher bid.
Customers who don’t want their photos transferred to Shutterfly (and possibly all customers outside the US and Canada – we are seeking guidance from Kodak Australia) can retrieve images through free downloads or purchase DVDs from Kodak Gallery in the next month.
As well as its 75 million customers, Kodak Gallery has one of the better mobile apps around for uploading and sharing images. This will not go to Shutterfly, nor any other intellectual property, nor the 150 Kodak Gallery employees.
Kodak Australia kindly clarified the local situation on Kodak Gallery to Photo Counter:
Kodak Gallery was not set up for Australian customers, and Kodak Australia did not promote or encourage the service locally. There was never a .au platform set up. In fact, Australian customers who signed up to Kodak Gallery were incurring shipping costs from the US. While we can’t release exact customer numbers, this will effect very few Australians.
Kodak is still very committed to its customers in Australasia. However, as per the announcements of previous weeks, Kodak is now focusing its Consumer Business on Personal & Professional Output Products and Services. This includes retail-based printing – which is very important to the company and a key focus area in Australia and New Zealand via the Kodak Express stores and Kodak Picture Kiosks.