In this installment of what dawns on us is a series on the downside of rapid product innovation entitled “Kaizen’s a Killer,” “Agile Methodology Angst,” or perhaps “The Limits of Ambition,” we report that there are increasing rumblings that Samsung’s foray into the competitive world of mirrorless ILC’s may require a strategic retreat.
Call it fast failing – a darling concept in Silicon Valley – call it a strategic retreat, or call it something else.
In any case, it’s becoming clear that software standards and military metaphors applied to manufacturing are a double-edged sword. Remember the old rhetorical response to Windows in the early days: crashing a laptop is one thing, but no one would EVER rely on Windows to run a commercial jet. Turns out that was a pretty good point: Microsoft has enough of a challenge driving the entertainment systems in cars even today, even as it gets better with reach release.
And “live to fight another day” works pretty well in the real world of armed conflict.
Which is not to say that Samsung’s NX1 isn’t a worthy camera, nor that Samsung can’t pull it off, nor that Samsung isn’t right if it truly does decide to exit the space.
Instead, it’s really just an observation that the imaging industry appears to be relying increasingly on business launches and product releases which they are willing to see sink or swim in the marketplace earlier in their gestation period.
The good news is that companies are listening to the marketplace and putting their money, talent and focus on the line faster.
The bad news is that the consumer (or pro) is rapidly becoming a beta tester without his or her consent.
I’m not sure how I feel about this, because I understand that this is the innovation model de rigueur — but I know that if I’d bought into the NX1, I’d be really, really unhappy right about now.
And if you’re a work-a-day pro relying on gear as part of a much larger production team, strategic retreat simply means “you’re hosed.”
You can see why ARRI and Panavision have legs in Hollywood.
Samsung May Be Shutting Down Their Entire Camera Division After All
Samsung's official statement back in late September:
“Withdrawing from the camera business is not true and there is no official plan to stop production of cameras and lenses. Samsung continuously analyzes the varying needs and requirements of consumers in each market and region very carefully. However, we do not officially comment on rumors or speculation.”
Well, recently people have been calling stores in Europe and Asia about buying new Samsung NX gear, but were met with a consistent response pattern, that Samsung has not supplied them with new cameras and that the manufacturer is pulling the product line due to disappointing sales numbers.
Samsung's European division made an official statement today that they will be discontinuing the NX1 camera system, but just in Europe:
“We quickly adapt to market needs and demands. In Europe, we will be discontinuing sales of NX1 cameras for now since there is already much better and upgraded cameras. This is specific to the region – and is not necessarily reflective of conditions in other markets. We will continue to thoroughly evaluate market conditions and will make further adjustments to maintain our competitiveness in emerging Camera categories.”
Read full article at Fstoppers “Samsung May Be Shutting Down Their Entire Camera Division After All”
(cover photo credit: snap from Fstoppers)