Kodak’s last shot?

Ashley Milne-Tyte Feb 6, 2007


SCOTT JAGOW: If you have an inkjet printer, you know the deal: The replacement cartridges can cost more than the printer. Today, Kodak unveiled a new way of doing things: More expensive printers, but much cheaper cartridges. And this is good ink. Kodak says the photos will last 100 years instead of 15. Now, if Kodak wants to be around much longer, this strategy better work. Ashley Milne-Tyte explains.

ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: Kodak is betting that keen photographers will opt for their new line of printers over rivals’. While the printers cost more, the company is selling ink cartridges at half the price of competitors like HP.

Kodak needs this initiative to take off. The company is worth about a quarter of what it was 10years ago.

Charles LeCompte is president of digital imaging research firm Lyra Research.

CHARLES LECOMPTE: It’s vital for Kodak. They’ve been selling off arms and legs and everything else they can to generate the cash they can to support this effort so this thing basically is a bet-the-ranch proposition for them.

He says Kodak has a good chance of pulling this off, since 45 percent of people still print out snaps at home and the market isn’t expected to drop much in the next few years.

But they are very late to the game, so consumers need to be convinced that the superior Kodak ink is worth going for.

In New York, I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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