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Friday, August 24, 2001
 Philips to make digital photo devices for Kodak
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Message Text: Philips said on Friday it reached a deal with Eastman Kodak to manufacture desktop and portable devices that will show pictures digitally processed by Kodak.

The idea is that people would be able to look at photos that are now only viewable with a computer.

``Our partnership with Kodak means consumers will be able to see and share their memories wherever they find themselves -- at home, away, and on the move,'' said Guy Demuynck, a senior vice president at Netherlands-based Philips Electronics.

In 2002, Philips will introduce DVD-video players and portable audio CD players that will show pictures stored on Kodak Picture CDs that allow consumers to view, enhance, print and e-mail their photos through a computer and the Internet.

Since 1998, consumers have been able to mail order their film developing on the Kodak Picture CDs through retail outlets. The Philips devices will allow consumers to view their photos on the Kodak CDs without a computer.

Rochester, N.Y.-based Kodak said the devices will help the company sell their Kodak CD product to a wider audience, and allow consumers greater freedom in displaying pictures digitally.

``Through this agreement, Kodak is bringing the benefit of digital imaging to the mass marketplace, allowing consumers to share images in the living room in addition to the computer room.''

In the last few years, Kodak and competitors like Canon Inc. and Olympus Optical Co. Ltd. have devoted substantial resources to developing and offering digital cameras, printing and related devices. Acceptance has been slow however, due to a perception that digital cameras are difficult to use, expensive and that services are developed for more savvy users.

Those concerns aside, the weak economy has slowed the photo economy, which relies on liberal spending by consumers. In July, Kodak reported a steep drop in second-quarter profits and warned that it saw no signs of an economic recovery.

At the beginning of January 2002, Philips will introduce the first products supporting the Kodak Picture CD at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
 
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