Kodak emerges from financial wilderness with first smartphone

Kodak emerges from financial wilderness with first smartphone

Imaging company Kodak is reportedly set to complete its financial turnaround in the new year by lending its name to a new Android device.

An announcement from the UK-based Bullitt Group claims that several Android handsets (phones and tablets) carrying the Kodak name will be manufactured in 2015, claiming they will place a particularly strong focus on photo hardware and software.

Bullit claims the new devices will be easier to use than any other Android model and would be able to seamlessly link up with Kodak's other photo products, including its print and picture sharing services.

The first Kodak phone from Bullitt will be unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show in early January.

It is just the latest episode in what has been something of dramatic turnaround for the imaging firm, which in 1996 was ranked fourth by Interbrand and was considered as a top 100 global brand as recently as 2007.

However, a catastrophic fall in trademark and business saw the firm fall on hard times, despite remaining a well-respected name in its industry.

The decision to launch handsets aimed at particular markets is a trend that is likely to be repeated for much of the coming year.

For instance, BlackBerry, which recently embarked on a recovery plan of its own during 2014, is set to partner with aerospace company Boeing, which will see it manufacture the Boeing Black phone, which it claims will be highly secure as it will become inoperable if anyone tries to bypass its security features.

Both BlackBerry and Boeing believe that by offering such superior safety features, the phone will provide the ideal solution to defence contractors and government agencies.

According to CCS Insight, the Canadian firm will by no means be alone in such endeavours, with its experts predicting that the next 12 months will see a number of companies build and rebuild their mobile brands, with a number of new firms set to emerge from Asia, as well as Europe and the US, which could look to extend further to both domestic and international audiences.