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Kodak's Slow Fade: Inventor of OLED Sells OLED Business

Illustration for article titled Kodaks Slow Fade: Inventor of OLED Sells OLED Business

In the 1970s, Kodak scientists developed the world's first viable OLED material. Today, they're selling the business to LG to keep their drowning ship afloat. It's been a rough decade.

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It's been so long since Kodak's been relevant that it's easy to forget how much they've pioneered. Today, though, they've been reduced to a case study in what happens when companies built on increasingly obsolete technology are slow to evolve. Kodak's OLED business is good example of what's gone wrong: they've made some nice (though questionably necessary) advances with it, but don't have any TV or monitor presence with which to leverage it. So now they've handed it off to LG, who'll save fistloads of cash by having access to Kodak's "fundamental" OLED intellectual property portfolio, while Kodak will use whatever money they got out of the sale to buy down some debt and make some perfectly adequate printers.

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To keep the metaphors coming: Kodak hasn't so much passed the torch as they have sold the farm. [BusinessWire via Endgadget]

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DISCUSSION

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Sticks Calhoun

What a sad development! There are many negatives to this story, and few positives. I thought they'd have a shot at recovery if they framed their business properly, but sadly they're just shuttering one branch of their company after another. It's easy to judge through the lens of hindsight, but they should have been faster on digital. Now they're just alone in a dark room, overexposed to debt and waiting to be hung out to dry. #puncraft