Talking tech since 2003

While the age of film-based photography is gone for most of us, Kodak’s familiar brand and logo will soon appear in our lives again. According to an official announcement from a few days ago, Kodak has teamed up with UK-based electronics company the Bullitt Group to make new camera-focused Android smartphones, which will be on display at CES next week.

Apparently the new Kodak camera-phones will be aimed at “consumers who want a high-end experience but aren’t always as comfortable using increasingly complicated mobile devices as they would like to be.” In short, these will be smartphones for folks who have trouble with all the bells and whistles that are typically found in today’s handsets. Moreover, with that target consumer in mind, it seems likely that these also won’t necessarily offer the best photos despite the Kodak logo.

The announcement also explains that it will come with software to allow for more tech-savvy people help Kodak camera-phone owners with their devices remotely. Basically, Bullitt and Kodak are building a smartphone for my mom.

Said Bullitt Group CEO Oliver Schulte on the partnership and ensuing releases:

“Kodak is one of the world’s most recognizable brands. It is trusted by consumers as a marque of quality and innovation. We’ve taken that heritage and used it to inspire a range of beautifully designed devices that will let users take great pictures and edit, share, store, and print them in an instant.”

The details are still a bit scant, but I have a feeling that the Android operating system will receive a bit of a restructuring on these new devices, just like it has at the hands of Amazon on the Kindle Fire line of tablets. Those devices feature the Fire OS, which is a forked version of Android that provides a different (and, in my opinion, inferior) user interface. If Kodak and Bullitt intend to target technologically confused users, that means these devices will probably receive a similar UI facelift.

Maybe that’s good – goodness knows that complicated gestures and apps don’t make things easier for folks who just want to talk to their grandchildren and take photos of ducks. But it’s a shame that Kodak and Bullitt aren’t working together to offer smartphones with powerful photo-taking capabilities that still offer solid Android functionality. We’ll have to wait and see if my guess is accurate when Bullitt shows off its wares at CES in Las Vegas next week.

[Kodak and Bullitt Group Partner Announcement]

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