Kodak Layoffs Reflect Films Rapid Demise

Everyone saw it coming, but the leap to digital has happened faster than expected, analyst says.

Eastman Kodak Co.s announcementthat it would be cutting up to 10,000 more jobs is less an indication of the companys health than it is a nod to the rapid shrinking of the film market, some analysts believe.

The digital photography boom has been killing film sales at a pace much quicker than many companies, including Kodak, could have anticipated. And the market will continue to founder, with the effect on film vendors and processors being close to "catastrophic," said Charles LeCompte, president of Lyra Research.

"Kodak is the most public company to suffer from how quickly film is declining, but there are plenty of others hurting," he said, adding that a number of European companies focusing on film have gone bankrupt within the past few years.

These enterprises did see the size of the digital photography wave, LeCompte added, but not its speed. Kodak has been investing heavily in digital photography for nearly 10 years while demanding that executives to concentrate on the issue, but the company didnt move quickly enough to avoid layoffs, said Mike Wolf, director of digital photography trends at research firm InfoTrends.

"Anyone who has been reliant on film in the past has had to adjust their model or meet their maker," said Wolf. "Whats happening at Kodak is happening across the industry."