Behold the Lowly Digital Photo Frame

by admin on May 26, 2009


So I was cruising the PrintCeo blog and reading up on what happened at the Graphic Users Association whoop-up and the first thing I thought was: How was the buffet?

I mean, I went to one of those shin- dings a number of years ago and gained about 12 pounds in two and a half days. Those hotel buffets down in Florida can be something to behold.

Now of course the report from PrintCeo was considerably more professional and this quote caught my eye:

“It’s a challenging and difficult transition,” admitted the CMO and frontman for Kodak. “And while it’s taking longer than many would like, it’s proceeding well.” The company is simultaneously reaching out to consumers with a variety of easy-to-use digital cameras and associated Kodak-branded products such as memory cards and digital photo frames...

Now let's put aside the uncomfortable fact that Kodak has been in a "challenging and difficult transition" for the better part of a decade. Perhaps they should even find  different adjectives to describe their business plans beaucoup vite otherwise nouns like "Chapter" and "Eleven" could find their way into the conversation.  Let's forget all about that and focus on the last product they mention: Digital Photo Frames.

Sixty dollars for a frame with 120 megs of internal memory. What does that hold, about 100 pictures, maybe more? Now before there was such a thing as digital photo frames, what did people do with their pixs? They just viewed them on the computer screen, or burned a CD-ROM and watched them in a DVD player. No wait, there was something else too. Some people actually had a thing called an inkjet printer, and they went to the store and bought ink cartridges and paper and hooked their computer up to a printer and printed out the photos. Then they went to the hassle of buying a picture frame and framing each and every photo. Wow, how about those good old days?

But seriously, HP just announced their numbers and the printing group sales dropped 23%. Now you have to ask yourself, is it the recession or is it that the consumables revenue model is starting to fail? Now if it's really the latter then oh boy it's not just HP that's in trouble. For each and every vendor that serves the prepress/printing industry, ALL of them depend on consumables for a large part of their revenue. Their very business models are dependent on ink. If that collapses, you'll see a bloodbath in this industry that make what the car companies are going through right look like a small bump in the road.

Christmas of 2009 will tell the tale: If digital photo frames are as cheap as inkjet cartridge refills, then go dig a hole and stock it up with food and ammo. And don't forget the beer.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Deconstructing Kodak: The Stream Gamble | Prepress Pilgrim
August 4, 2009 at 7:22 am
Kodak’s Hot New Picture Frame | Cheap Printer Ink
January 11, 2010 at 11:17 am


Michael J May 26, 2009 at 8:09 am

Art Post, over at the <a href=”MFP solutions blog”, has numbers from all of them. Based on the numbers, I’m betting strongly on blood bath.

My take is that Xerox is rushing to get into Managed Print Services. HP is all preoccupied with computers, but will sooner or later break off the Indigo Part. Kodak, or it’s successor, will release Creo to fly. Ricoh/InfoPrint is trying to get to scale wtih MPS and Production Printing.

Please excuse the pretentiousness but . . . births and dismemberments can both get pretty bloody.

Mark Jetzer May 27, 2009 at 3:47 am

The buffet and open bar was great as usual.

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