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Kodak to stop making cameras, digital photo frames

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Eastman Kodak, the company that invented the digital camera in 1975, is shutting down its digital camera business.

Kodak, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month, announced on Thursday that it will stop making digital photo cameras, as well as pocket-sized video cameras and digital photo frames.

The Rochester, N.Y., based company, which was a pioneer in bringing photography to consumers worldwide since its founding in 1880, said it's working with retailers to phase out those products by the end of the first half of the year. 

From there, Kodak will look to license its brand name to other device makers as a part of an ongoing company review to make the struggling firm more profitable and free of its bankruptcy.

As the world has turned to digital photography, and away from film, and to cellphones with built-in cameras, and away from point-and-shoots, Kodak's once hugely successful operations have suffered drastically.

Kodak's remaining consumer lineup will consist of inkjet printers and photo printing technology found in malls, kiosks, pharmacies, film developing businesses and Kodak's websites.

Once out of the digital camera, video camera and photo frame businesses, the company it "expects to achieve annual operating savings of more than $100 million," Kodak said in a statement. The move will also result in a one-time charge of about $30 million "resulting from the exit of the business."

Remaining in place will be Kodak's commercial business segments, which "now comprise approximately three-fourths of total revenues."

Kodak said that while it won't be making cameras and photo frames anymore, it believes it still has a "strong position in the personal imaging market."  

"While photos are increasingly taken on multi-function mobile devices, Kodak technology makes it easy for consumers to produce a broad range of photo products, anywhere, anytime -- from prints to photobooks, photo greeting cards and personalized calendars," the company said.

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