Not too long ago, Kodak, the iconic imaging company, pretty much went under the radar. Growing up, Kodak was a pretty standard household name when it came to taking and printing photos - if you have any old photos, you may have a few that sport the Kodak photo paper watermark on the back. For my family, Kodak was the go-to for cheap, disposable cameras, and the company responsible for many of what they would call “Kodak moments”.
At one point in my life I even worked for a branch of Kodak, but since photography wasn’t exactly in my core interests I decided not to continue down that path. I have to admit that after leaving Kodak, as well as after hearing that the company also recently went bankrupt, I did not think that I would ever cross paths with the company again.
How very wrong I was!
Recently, news surfaced that Kodak plans to re-enter the market. This time, Kodak plans to take a whack at creating Android smartphones after partnering up with Bullitt Group, the same company that partnered up with Caterpillar to make arguably the most rugged line of Android phones on the market.
According to Kodak, the plan is to create a smartphone that doesn’t compromise on design or user interface, and “the range will stand out in a market that is currently under-served.” So basically, Kodak plans to make the perfect smartphone inside and out. The company plans to unveil its new line of gadgets (which is said to include a 4G handset, a tablet, and a connected camera) during CES 2015, taking place just a little under two weeks away, from January 6-9.
I have often wondered whether there is any real room to grow on the Android side of the spectrum when it comes to new manufacturers. Android’s OS has the highest market share in the industry, but Android also has the most manufacturers contributing to the growth over any other mobile platform. Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony, Huawei, ZTE, Amazon, Oppo, OnePlus, Meizu, Kyocera, and BLU are just some of the more recognizable names on that list, but the list doesn’t end there. Anybody who enters the Android market is going to have about a 50/50 chance of succeeding. The platform is the most popular, but it’s also the most saturated.
What exactly could Kodak bring to the table that somebody else doesn’t already have?
With Nokia not yet in the picture (but possibly in the future?) Kodak may be able to swipe Android users that are also looking for an in-depth camera experience. Most smartphones on the market, especially flagships, are going to have exceptional cameras (for phones, that is) but Kodak’s specialty has always been imaging. I imagine that they’ll play that up when it comes to their new smartphone. It would be kind of disappointing if they didn’t.
As for the actual phone itself, it seems that Kodak wants to have an immersive but “simplified” user interface. I’m not quite sure what that means, but as long as that doesn’t mean a forked version of Android that omits Google Services then it’s really all about how users receive the interface. It would also be cool if these Kodak Android phones don’t get bogged down by tons of unnecessary bloatware.
And the design? I guess to expect anything aside from big and thin (which is in) would be kind of silly. However, while I fully expect the phone to feature a 5-inch plus screen (or in the very least 4.7-inch) I really do hope that Bullitt manages to make the phone durable. Not as bulky as the Caterpillar line of Android smartphones, of course, but something that people won’t be afraid to break just by looking at it for too long. And maybe not quite as bulky as the mock-up pictured above.
I honestly have no idea what to expect from a Kodak Android phone, but at least we don’t have too long to wait before we’re able to get a glimpse at this new line of devices. What are your thoughts, readers? Do you think that Kodak will stand a chance in this sea of Android manufacturers? Let us know in the comments below!