people "in the industry" know lots of big electronics companies
do development / production work for some of the digital camera manufacturers
(of course it's all nudge nudge we can't mention who). In a report from
Bloomberg Kodak have confirmed that Sharp will produce digital cameras
for them (I'll take a guess at the upcoming DC3800).
"Kiyoshi Osaki, a spokesman for Kodak Japan Ltd., confirmed that
Eastman Kodak is getting digital cameras from Sharp for sale in the U.S.
He declined to provide further details."
the Bloomberg article:
Sharp Starts Making Digital Cameras for Eastman Kodak
By Keiko Kambara, Yoshifumi Takemoto and Tomoko Yamazaki
Tokyo, Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Sharp Corp., Japan's largest liquid crystal
display maker, said it resumed production of digital cameras, which it
once made briefly, and began shipments to Eastman Kodak Co., the world's
largest photography company, for sale in the U.S. under the Kodak brand.
"We started to ship finished products from August,'' said Nobuo Minamihori,
a Sharp spokesman. "Our monthly production is 100,000 units at a factory
in Tochigi Prefecture.''
Sharp wants to make more use of its charge-coupled device, a core part
for digital cameras. Sharp is counting on growing demand for digital cameras
to help earnings, as U.S. sales could more than double this year to 12.7
million, according to Gartner Group Inc. of the U.S., an information-technology
"The plan is good for Sharp's parts business'' because its LCDs and
CCDs are used in digital cameras, said Hideki Watanabe, an analyst at
Securities (Japan) Ltd. "But it's hard to say how much profit Sharp can
gain by assembling those parts into cameras.''
Sharp shares rose as much as 22 yen, or 1.3 percent, to 1,690 before
ending morning trade down 8 yen to 1,660.
Kiyoshi Osaki, a spokesman for Kodak Japan Ltd., confirmed that Eastman
Kodak is getting digital cameras from Sharp for sale in the U.S. He declined
to provide further details.
Osaka-based Sharp, which first sold digital cameras in 1996 but soon
halted production, may not benefit much from resuming production, said
Kun Soo Lee, a senior analyst at the Tokyo branch of WestLB Securities
"Because prices of digital cameras are falling, I'm afraid Sharp won't
be able to expect big profits,'' Lee said.
The Nihon Keizai newspaper, which earlier reported on the agreement between
Sharp and Eastman Kodak, said the camera will be on sale in the U.S. by
the end of this year for about $200.
The price tag of $200 is a third of an average $600 price for digital
cameras last year, according to Gartner.