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Kodak, HP Dissolve Phogenix Joint Venture

Rochester, N.Y. – Citing a lack of return on investment, Hewlett-Packard and Kodak announced today that they have dissolved their three-year-old Phogenix joint venture.

Phogenix was established to produce retail digital photofinishing systems that would blend the two companies competencies: Kodak would contribute the processing software and HP the inkjet print engine.

The product that emerged, the DFX system, was being tested in Best Buy’s Canadian subsidiary Future Shop, and a number of New York-area photo retailers at the time of the announcement.

Retailers beta-testing the system expressed disappointment over the dissolution.

‘It’s a shame, really, it’s great technology,’ said James Park, president of New York-based ColorTek, who had been beta-testing the unit since last December.

‘Once again, HP screws the little guy,’ lamented Joel Paymer, owner of New York-based Camera Land. Palmer, who thought the DFX was a ‘phenomenal system,’ suspected that HP’s desire to focus on home printing and inkjet printer cartridge sales was the driving force behind the dissolution.

Indeed, an HP spokesperson said that the company had decided to focus on home printing and digital camera sales.

In a joint statement, both companies agreed it was in the best interests of potential customers, employees and investors to terminate operations at this time, before any mini-labs were installed on a commercial basis.