In the case of Kodak,they were far too late in realizing the importance of electronic imaging and how powerful it would become and that film labs that used chemicals would become passe. George Eastman invented lightweight, portable film and camera technology (involving chemicals for processing) in 1892. That was the core of their business for decades, and they were tops in their field for over a century. business was selling film,photo paper and chemicals. It also sold cameras to exploit the use of same.
Then a Kodak engineer invented this in 1975:
That’s the first hand held digital camera (ever) being held by its inventor, who worked for Kodak!
Kodak didn’t really want to make and sell a camera that would eat into their business. They were already fighting against Fuji Film over the price of film for retail and commercial customers.
So. they leased the patents to several interested companies and when products started to come out? Sourced Kodak branded cameras (made in Japan).
Then something terrible happened! Their film, chemicals, and paper business started a long slow decline. Those digital cameras were eating into the business! How?
Most retail customers would shoot a 36 frame roll of 35mm film (as an example), have the roll printed, keep one, or two, good shots and toss the rest.
Those same customers, with a digital camera? Would have one, or two, good shots printed and delete the rest. Or, maybe,just keep them on a computer and not bother to even print them.
You can see where this is going! The digital camera wars had begun and the film business went through the inevitable decline. Kodak lingered for some years,but finally went kaput. And now kodak is just a name to be plastered on a product today.In conclusion,the short answer is that digital photography killed Kodak.They made their money on selling film and prints.They were also into digital photography, but it was too little and too late. Other manufacturers made more and more digital cameras and the profits from handling physical film vanished.
You can see the same thing happening now with small pocket cameras getting replaced by camera phones.Thank you
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