204 million rolls of film were sold last year, down 75% from 800 million in 1999, says Katie Hafner in the Times. Stop&Shop just eliminated their film-processing stations at all 300 stores in the northeast. Clobbered Kodak is pursuing the cigarette company strategy: sell film to the third world, where people can’t afford computers (or lawyers). For now, 35,000 locations in the U.S. still develop film–but presumably not for long.
Digital printing kiosks are replacing photo-processing stations in some stores, but the trick is getting people to print their pictures at all. At the peak of film, 25 billion images were shot and printed. In 2009, 135 billion images will be shot, but far fewer printed.
Who are the buggy-whip makers here? The film companies, duh (Kodak and Fujifilm). The companies that make and service those fancy photo-processing stations and chemicals. Lots of niche paper and equipment providers. Many of the camera companies seem to have navigated the change (Nikon, Canon).
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