Pentax Ricoh: no decision made on future of Pentax compacts
Pentax Ricoh Imaging has said no decision has yet been made about dropping the Pentax name from compact cameras. Japanese newspaper newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported, in a subscriber-only interview with the company's President Noboru Akahane, that the Pentax name would be used only for DSLRs. This was then repeated by Japanese blog Digicame.info, prompting much internet speculation about Pentax stopping compact camera production.
We approached the company and were told: 'The article is part of a wider interview where many issues were discussed. The product branding approach highlighted by the article is one option that was discussed but the final decision has not been made.'
However, it does seem likely that Pentax Ricoh will want to create some distinction between its product lines, rather than selling competing mass-market models under different brand names. The Ricoh brand is still fairly strong outside the US, so a move to use the Pentax name for interchangeable lens cameras may well make sense. However, the question of which model lines will continue does not appear to have been discussed, just which brand name would appear on which type of camera.