Fujifilm Holdings Corporation, commonly known as Fujifilm, (富士フイルム株式会社 Fujifuirumu Kabushiki-kaisha?) is a Japanese multinational photography and imaging company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.
Fujifilm’s principal activities are the development, production, sale and servicing of color photographic film, digital cameras, photofinishing equipment, color paper, photofinishing chemicals, medical imaging equipment, graphic arts equipment and materials, flat panel displays, optical devices, photocopiers and printers.
Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. was established in 1934 with the aim of being the first Japanese producer of photographic films. Over the following 10 years, the company produced photographic films, motion-picture films and X-ray films. In the 1940s, Fuji Photo entered the optical glasses, lenses and equipment markets. After the Second World War, Fuji Photo diversified, penetrating the medical (X-ray diagnosis), printing, electronic imaging and magnetic materials fields. In 1962, Fuji Photo and U.K.-based Rank Xerox Limited (now Xerox Limited) launched Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. through a joint venture.
From the mid-1950s, Fuji Photo accelerated the establishment of overseas sales bases. In the 1980s, Fuji Photo expanded its production and other bases overseas, stepping up the pace of its business globalization. Meanwhile, Fuji Photo developed digital technologies for its photo-related, medical and printing businesses.
Like its rival Eastman Kodak which dominated in the United States, Fuji Photo enjoyed a longtime near-monopoly on camera film in Japan. By becoming one of the title sponsors of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics (an opportunity that Kodak passed on), offering cheaper camera film, and establishing a film factory in the United States, Fuji gained considerable market share in the United States while Kodak had little success in penetrating Japan. In May 1995, Kodak filed a petition with the US Commerce Department under section 301 of the Commerce Act arguing that its poor performance in the Japanese market was a direct result of unfair practices adopted by Fuji. The complaint was lodged by the United States with the World Trade Organization. On January 30, 1998, the WTO announced a “sweeping rejection of Kodak’s complaints” about the film market in Japan.
The beginning of the new millennium witnessed the rapid spread of digital technology in cameras. Demand for photographic films showed a sudden plunge in line with the growing popularity of digital cameras. In response, Fuji Photo implemented management reforms aimed at effecting drastic transformation of its business structures. Even as early as the 1980s, the company had foreseen the switch from film to digital, so “it developed a three-pronged strategy: to squeeze as much money out of the film business as possible, to prepare for the switch to digital and to develop new business lines.” While both film manufacturers recognized this fundamental change, Fuji Photo adapted to this shift much more successfully than Eastman Kodak (which filed for bankruptcy in January 2012). For instance, Fuji Photo CEO Shigetaka Komori managed to break longstanding Japanese corporate traditions, while Kodak was slow to change due to its executives’ “mentality of perfect products, rather than the high-tech mindset of make it, launch it, fix it”. Fuji Photo’s diversification efforts also succeeded while Kodak’s had failed; furthermore Kodak built up a large but barely profitable digital camera business that was undone quickly by smartphone cameras.
In September 19, 2006, Fujifilm announced plans to establish a holding company, Fujifilm Holdings Corp. Fujifilm and Fuji Xerox would become subsidiaries of the holding company. A representative of the company reconfirmed its commitment to film, which accounts for 3% of sales.
Post – Mark Hafkin – Perth
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