Kodak Jumping Into Smartphone Market, Launching First Device at CES 2015

( [email protected] ) Dec 26, 2014 05:53 PM EST
Kodak Booth
Kodak is set to launch its new smartphone at CES 2015 next month. Photo: Infotrends

Kodak is aiming to revitalize its image by jumping into the smartphone market, and as you might expect, the focus will be on camera quality.

In partnership with mobile device manufacturer Bullitt Group, Kodak is looking to launch a range of Android-powered mobile devices targetted toward "consumers who want a high-end experience but aren't always as comfortable using increasingly complicated mobile devices."

Bullitt Group is best know for manufacturing the Caterpillar smartphones as rugged devices for the construction market and the five-year-old company has so far enjoyed success and accreditation for its business.

"Kodak is one of the world's most recognisable brands. It is trusted by consumers as a marque of quality and innovation," says Oliver Schulte, CEO Bullitt Mobile. "We've taken that heritage and used it to inspire a range of beautifully designed devices that will let users take great pictures and edit, share, store and print them in an instant."

While the focus of this latest info from Kodak is on the photo software side, there's no word yet on hardware specs for lenses, sensors, or lens apertures.

But a special feature on these new Kodak phones allows advanced remote management from family and friends to provice support when needed. Presumably, this is aimed at those not yet as comfortable with smart devices, but who may know someone who is. Think about those in the 60+ age group who aren't as familiar with the way smart devices can be integrated into daily life. The question is, will that be a smart investment as that demographic continues to shrink?

Kodak believes that the current smartphone market is underserved in the area of usability in conjunction with quality design. "Delivering simplicity without compromise, these devices will address a segment of the mobile device market that has been poorly served to date," Schulte continues. "By giving customers easy access to printing and sharing services while still offering the latest Android OS and features found on high-end smartphones, we will appeal to a large audience of users who value ease of use and stylish design as highly as they value functionality."

Kodak built its name on the now-defunct film-based camera market for generations, but when digital photography smothered the analog film market, the company was left scrambling. This new direction shows that the company is willing to adapt, while still playing off of what it knows best.

"We are impressed with Bullitt Group's commitment to delivering a portfolio of products that embrace the quality and innovation that our brand is known for around the world," VP of Brand Licensing Eileen Murphy adds.

Kodak plans to show off and launch the new handset for the first time at next month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Kodak booth will be located in South Hall 1, Booth 21818 and the expo will run from January 6th through the 9th. This is the first time Kodak has been at CES in three years.

And if that's not enough, the company says that it will also make further product announcements throughout the second half of 2015 with a 4G handset, a tablet, and a connected camera.