Kodak Is Focused, All Right, But It's A Wide Focus

Geoffrey Smith's article "Kodak's focus may be too narrow" (News: Analysis & Commentary, Nov. 24) misses the key thrust of our digital-imaging strategy. Smith correctly points out that we intend to intensify our focus with our digital strategy to leverage our huge retail presence. At Kodak, we believe that consumers will want to participate in digital imaging regardless of their choice of camera or technology--conventional film or digital. We have a huge opportunity to provide consumers with an array of digital scanning and printing services through our network of kiosks, in partnership with our retailers.

At the same time, Smith misses our commitment to digital photography and digital cameras. This is a significant oversight, as we are among the top suppliers of digital cameras in the market. We offer one of the widest arrays of products in the industry, and we hold market-share leadership positions in the U.S. and Europe, especially in segments that demand high image quality.

We acknowledged that we need to focus our efforts to improve our profitability in this segment, but we clearly stated that Kodak intends to remain an industry leader. Some of our 1998 product announcements will reinforce this commitment. And, we said, we may enhance our position by partnering with other leaders to gain scale.

These two aspects of our strategy are not mutually exclusive, as your article implies. We believe the combination will play to Kodak's strengths in a highly competitive marketplace.

Willy Shih


Digital & Applied Imaging

Eastman Kodak Co.

Rochester, N.Y.

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