Last May a company called General Imaging, headed by former president of camera maker Olympus Imaging, Hiroshi Komiya, began selling digital cameras under General Electric’s brand. Today, I caught up with Rene Buhay, GI’s senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Americas. And while GE is abandoning appliances, and many camera makers are leaving the crowded digital cameras space, this business seems to be doing well. “The sales are growing fast,” Buhay says. “We are expanding rapidly.”
In the past year, the company has opened offices in Hong Kong and the U.K., and it’s preparing to open an office in Russia soon. This year, the outfit that used to focus on sub-$149 cameras will release higher-end models. Later in 2008, it will unveil a 10 Megapixel digital camera with built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) for geo-tagging photos; while the exact price is yet to be determined, it’s likely to retail for nearly $300.
I am not sure about just how rapidly GE-branded cameras are moving up market-share charts, but one thing is clear: The company is certainly worth watching.