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Polaroid to release new digital products

By dpreview staff on Jul 14, 2000 at 04:00 GMT

Polaroid will be releasing new digital imaging products in the third quarter of 2000, the emphasis on 'trendy' offerings at low prices, bringing digital cameras to the masses. "Palmer discussed Polaroid offerings in the mobile arena, including the PhotoMAX modem camera that will allow the instant download of photos to the Internet via a phone line. Palmer also highlighted a digital photo printer, which will take advantage of emerging wireless technology to allow printing and transferring images on the go, and a digital printing camera, which will produce instant prints of digital images. Both are currently scheduled for release in the second half of 2000. "

Polaroid press release:

Polaroid Highlights Digital Strategy

Showcases Digital Products Slated for Third Quarter Release

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., -- July 14, 2000 – Gary T. DiCamillo, chairman and chief executive officer of Polaroid Corporation (NYSE: PRD), today outlined the company’s digital strategy and the lineup of digital products scheduled for release during the second half of 2000.

DiCamillo and other Polaroid executives shared their plans with the media at the company’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "Digital cameras were clearly the highlight of the first half of 2000. During the second half of the year, we will release new digital photo printers and innovative digital scanners for a variety of users," said DiCamillo. "Our objective is to bring the same type of innovative, easy-to-use, affordable technology to the digital space as we brought to the optical space – and that plan is already well under way."

DiCamillo reaffirmed three critical components, first made public earlier this year, that comprise the Polaroid digital strategy. First, leverage the company’s core instant picture technology platform in the digital marketplace. Second, stake out a position in the mobile, digital and wireless markets offering fast, easy and affordable input and photo printing solutions. Third, utilize the Internet and other value-added features and services to enhance customer relationships, particularly with "Generation Internet" (Gen-I) and with commercial users.

Polaroid has aggressively implemented this digital strategy to capitalize on projected growth of the Internet and wireless technology. Industry analysts predict rapid growth over the next five years for a variety of technologies, including the Internet, personal digital assistants, set top boxes, streaming video and mobile cellular, fueling a need for instant communication with digital images.

Polaroid strengthened its Internet offerings earlier this week with the launch of a business-to-business Web site. The site, polaroidwork.com, is designed to provide imaging solutions to end users from law enforcement to medical professionals. On the consumer side, the September launch of the I-Zone web site will provide an online community for Gen-I customers.

Leading Edge Digital Technology at Affordable Prices

Showcasing the breadth of both current and future Polaroid product offerings at today’s meeting were Larry Swensen, director of marketing for consumer digital products, and Tim Palmer, vice president for consumer and business imaging.

Swensen highlighted the broad range of consumer digital cameras Polaroid has released in 2000 and previewed those scheduled for release later this year. New offerings include an MP3 digital camera that will bring multimedia technology to mobile, trend-setting young consumers. The product, slated for launch by the end of the year, features a 640 x 480 resolution digital camera with MP3 storage and playback capability. Also on tap for later this year is the Polaroid Digital 2300Z, a 2.3 megapixel camera with 2x optical zoom, available to consumers in November at a competitive retail price of $399.95. The 2300Z will provide the most sophisticated features and best resolution of the Polaroid consumer digital camera line.

With its PhotoMAX line of affordable, easy-to-use digital cameras aimed at the mass market, Polaroid already is a leader in the consumer digital imaging space. Starting at a retail price of only $59.95 with the PhotoMAX Fun! Digital 320, the company’s current consumer digital camera line includes five of the top 10 digital cameras in the mass merchandising channel, according to ACNeilsen data. Earlier this year, Polaroid bolstered the strength of its digital line with the release of a number of new digital products, including the PhotoMAX PDC 1100, the company’s first megapixel camera.

Palmer discussed Polaroid offerings in the mobile arena, including the PhotoMAX modem camera that will allow the instant download of photos to the Internet via a phone line. Palmer also highlighted a digital photo printer, which will take advantage of emerging wireless technology to allow printing and transferring images on the go, and a digital printing camera, which will produce instant prints of digital images. Both are currently scheduled for release in the second half of 2000.

"These products will appeal to technology savvy, wired consumers," said Palmer. "Both are compact and convenient, features that are critically important to our target market."

Rounding out the company’s new digital offerings are additions to the highly successful I-Zone line. The Polaroid I-Zone Webster, a handheld device that instantly digitizes I-Zone pictures directly into a PC, will be launched this fall. Again targeting the Gen-I demographic will be the company’s Pocket Combo Camera, a pocket-sized digital camera that also produces instant film pictures, to be introduced in the next few months.

"Polaroid has a deep commitment to leverage our technology heritage to make highly complex technology easy-to-use and affordable for everyone," said DiCamillo. "These products are great examples of how we intend to leverage our imaging know how and capture a variety of opportunities in the digital and wireless arena."

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