U.S. film and camera maker Eastman Kodak Co. said it plans to re-enter the Japanese consumer digital camera market within a year.
"We just cannot afford to ignore the Japanese market," Yusuke Kojima, general manager of Eastman Kodak's digital camera division said at a briefing for customers and partners in Tokyo.
The company, which held 6 percent of the global market in digital cameras last year, said it hopes to boost its market share to 15 percent by the end of 2004 through its return to the Japanese market. Japanese consumers account for about 25 percent of the world's digital camera sales.
Eastman Kodak sold digital cameras in Japan from between 1995 to 2002, but the company's lack of understanding of the market, coupled with disappointing sales and cutthroat competition, led it to quietly withdraw from the market, Mr. Kojima said. "Our products were just too American," he said. "Everything was developed and marketed in the U.S. and we were just passively accepting products from there." He added that new consumer digital cameras will be introduced in Japan by summer 2004. He didn't say how many new releases were planned. (Reuters)
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