After 60 years, Polaroid quits instant film business

Trying to catch up to digital world
February 11, 2008 7:29:26 AM PST
Polaroid says it's trying to reinvent itself, so it's getting out of the very business it became known for -- instant pictures.The company is dropping the technology it pioneered long ago now that digital photography has made it all but obsolete.

Polaroid is cutting 450 jobs and closing factories in Massachusetts, Mexico and the Netherlands as it focuses on other ventures -- like Polaroid-branded electronics and a portable printer for cell phone images.

This year's closures will leave Polaroid with 150 employees at its headquarters near Boston. Thirty years ago, the company had 21,000 employees.

Sales for traditional camera film have been dropping about 25 to 30 percent a year, and analysts say instant film likely has been falling just as fast -- if not faster.

The company stopped making instant cameras over the last two years. The film will be available through next year.