By Ian Burley
20th July - 2001
Last month (click here to see the story) Agfa robustly rejected an unsolicited offer by Schroder ventures to relieve them of their consumer photo products division. We were told that it was business as usual.
Many of us took this with a few grains of salt as it was clear thet Agfaís efforts in the digital camera and consumer scanner markets have not been as enthusiastic as in the recent past.
The satirical IT trade watchdog news site, The Register, has suggested that dealers have been warned that Agfaís aspirations in the said consumer business are now no longer long term. Our own enquiries through Agfa press channels seem to confirm this, although some new products are still destined to be launched.
Although the consumer digital imaging market is growing at great pace, so is the competitiveness of the players. Agfa doesnít manufacture its own scanners or cameras and, as a relatively small player, it is being forced out of the market.
Itís a shame as Agfa has come up with some great scanner products and some technically innovative cameras. Whatís certain is that Agfa wonít be the last to find they canít compete in the digital photo business.