After months and months of speculation and rumors, today Olympus has confirmed that it is exiting the camera business after 84-years in practice!
The notice, published on Olympus’ website today, announces officially that it has signed a memorandum of understanding to sell its camera division to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), (which is the same firm that acquired Sony VAIO PC’s back in 2014). What does this mean? Well hopefully it means that the iconic camera line won’t simply disappear. In fact, Olympus says the new company will carry on making and selling camera equipment and suggests it will maintain Research & Development and manufacturing facilities around the world. Meaning, the company taking over will also continue to provide support to existing Olympus camera owners.
The sad but unsurprising news comes after three years of steady financial losses and Olympus states it needs a more “compact, efficient and agile” corporate structure. They also state that handing over the camera business is the only way to make sure the brand will survive and grow. Ironically, the company also blames the rise of smartphones as a large factor for the industries market decline.
So what do you think? Are you shocked by this news? Do you think the new owners will continue to grow the lineup or simply put things into a maintenance mode? Do you fear this will happen to some other brands soon as well? Let us know in the comments below.