The term ‘Kodak Moment’ was so entrenched in people’s mind at one time that is was used to describe a perfectly captured photographic moment. But that term is probably long forgotten as the once pioneering company of photographic film products failed to compete with the wave of digital cameras and cheap SD cards. And the uprising of social media and Instagram made things worse for them.
Seeking to rebound (yes, they are still around) from the darkest period of the company’s history, Kodak is pivoting to the mobile side of things and launching its very first Android smartphone made by Bullitt Mobile. Called IM5, the phone recently made its debut at CES 2015.
But if you are think that this is going to be the miracle product that will bring the Kodak back to its glorious days, you probably will be disappointed. There is no screaming killer feature or powerful specs. The Android smartphone is a pretty basic phone that comes with a 5-inch screen, 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front-facing camera, and octa-core 1.7GHz processor all for the estimated price of S$350. But that is exactly the intention of Kodak.
Kodak’s approach to the IM5 is simplicity. For example, you don’t even have to swipe endlessly to get to your library of apps. The home screen only has 12 essential apps like messaging, contacts, phone and camera and the rest of your apps are stowed away in an app drawer in the top right corner.
“This is a phone for consumers who appreciate the value and heritage of the Kodak brand. It looks great, is easy to use and offers real value for money.” says Oliver Schulte, CEO of Bullitt Mobile
Kodak believes that the Kodak IM5 will serve a group of consumers who want a smartphone that is easier to use. A market segment that they think has been poorly served by handset manufacturers.
“Too many memories stay stuck on mobile phones, often because the process for sharing them is too complicated for users; that’s why we’ve partnered on the IM5, the first device in a range of mobile products that takes our heritage and experience in photographic technology and combines it with Bullitt’s expertise in designing high-quality devices for a specific target consumer.” says Eileen Murphy, VP Brand Licensing at Kodak.
While we are not sure how big a segment of users wants a “less complicated” phone, the plasticky Kodak IM5 with mediocre specs just doesn’t do justice to the brand. But hey, it’s their first smartphone after all. Cut the ‘newbie’ some slack.