Re: [OM] Olympus quits camera business after 84 years - BBC News

Subject: Re: [OM] Olympus quits camera business after 84 years - BBC News
From: Chris Weir <chris.a.weir@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2020 15:51:41 +0100
I am far less confident than AG. JIP are little more than accountants, I
don't think they have the expertise to run Olympus Camera division. I think
it is a way of quietly shutting down and selling off the IP if possible.

On Thu, 25 Jun 2020, 00:23 Ken Norton, <ken@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I'm restricting my "doom and gloom" perspective on this and thinking
> through a few factoids:
> 1. The imaging division has always been negatively affected by the
> politics and turf wars within Olympus. They've been allowed to do only
> what the other divisions allow them to do. And more importantly, what
> can they gain out of it. For decades, it's been the red-headed
> step-child.
> 2. Olympus has always been extremely good at engineering and
> industrial design. But the products are always a step out of phase
> with the market. Certain things are too far ahead of the curve, or far
> behind the curve. Sometimes, not even on the curve. And they repeat
> the same mistake over and over again of straying away from what the
> competition is doing. Sensor-size is easily the biggest example of
> this. It's OK to be innovative, but it's not OK to let your
> competition tack in an entirely different direction in race 7. (Dennis
> Conner's head SHOULD have been put in the NYYC trophy cabinet for that
> fateful mistake). They went alone with 4/3 when EVERY other
> manufacturer went APS-C. Then they doubled-down with m4/3 when almost
> every other manufacturer went FF. This is 100% the fault of Product
> Management. This ended up as a costly decision because sensor prices,
> capabilities, and availability depend on leveraging the investment
> across as many units sold as possible. To share that with other
> manufacturers gives an advantage.
> 3. They owed their continued existence to SONY in exchange for a ton
> of engineering and industrial design, as well as technology licensing.
> 4. Shall we mention the billion dollar fraud case? That STILL affects
> the company years later. It's not unlike a college football program
> that is punished for recruitment violations. It may take generations
> for that program to come back--if ever. It's hard to recruit talent
> when you know that the company will never be on top.
> 5. Years ago, I said that the biggest mistake Olympus, Nikon and Canon
> were making was not partnering with the cell-phone manufacturers to
> provide the camera units and processing engines. Imagine if that shiny
> new iPhone were to say "Olympus Inside". Just as Canon and Sony were
> able to destroy the film camera markets with digital sensor
> technology, the cellphone companies are returning the favor and
> decimating the camera industry. And in all honesty, the bulk of
> photography investment is being made by the cellphone companies.
> 6. Investment firms are all about Return On Investment (ROI). I expect
> the new Olympus Imaging Company, whatever it is to be called, to be
> not only profitable, but probably much more focused on producing
> products that are a bit more mainstream. And cross-licensing
> technologies is likely to be big. We may actually get an "Olympus
> Inside" logo on a cellphone.
> 7. Sony already has a relationship with this particular investment
> firm, and I suspect that they were the primary driving force behind
> this move.
> 8. Management efficiency. While I've touched on this earlier, it is
> worthy of its own bullet point. Olympus is an extremely bloated
> company that can't get out of its own way. One reason why the imaging
> division can't make a profit is because of the obscene levels of
> overhead that affects the bottom line.
> 9. Olympus America. The legacy lives on, and on, and on, and on...
> So, I'd say that the Imaging Division could have a very bright future.
> We honestly don't know. However, what we do know is that change MUST
> happen. I don't think Olympus management is capable of changing what
> needs to be changed. Bailing out of South Korea is a prime example of
> the extreme incompetence Olympus has shown.
> Other than gobs of used Olympus gear, I've not been buying anything
> new and my two recent brand-new purchases were Sony and Panasonic. Of
> the used Olympus purchases I will be making, it will be swapping out
> for better copies or versions of what I already have.
> Bleak? End of the road? No, not really. I am actually encouraged by
> this news. it's a 50/50 that things will turn out positive for Olympus
> Imaging, but without this move, I think that it's a 95% chance of
> failure.
> AG Schnozz
> --
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