Konica Minolta quits camera business
Konica Minolta has today announced that it is withdrawing from the camera and photo business. They will be transferring assets related to their camera business to Sony who will continue to develop digital SLR's based around the Konica Minolta lens mount.
Konica Minolta has long been a leading company in photo imaging business covering wide range of imaging from input to output. In addition, we have provided inspiring products and services by fusing our unique technologies.
In camera business, we have expanded picture-taking opportunities by developing innovative technologies such as the world’s first autofocus cameras. In 1962, our camera, well-accepted for its high reliability, boarded on the US’s first manned spaceship “Friendship 7.” Also, ever since introduction of the world’s first body-integral autofocus SLR camera, Maxxum/Dynax series, in 1985, SLR cameras have become more popular among picture-takers, and we have succeeded in selling 16 million units of interchangeable lenses since then.
However, in today’s era of digital cameras, where image sensor technologies such as CCD is indispensable, it became difficult to timely provide competitive products even with our top optical, mechanical and electronics technologies.
In photo business, represented by the silver-halide photography such as color film and color paper, we have produced Japan’s first photographic paper in 1903, and Japan’s first color film in 1940, thus pioneering joy of photography for more than a century. In 1984, we introduced the world’s first compact washless photofinishing system known as a minilab system. The minilabs contributed to the expansion of worldwide photographic market by making photos closer to consumers and amazingly shortening delivery time.
However, traditional silver-halide photographic market is shrinking astonishingly by the surge of the worldwide digitization. In such a changing world, profits for camera and photo businesses worsened in recent years, and it became necessary to drastically reform business structure for the further growth of Konica Minolta. Ever since we decided and announced restructuring guidelines of our businesses on November 4, 2005, we have been considering practical and detailed plan, and we would like to announce our decision made today as follows: