HP zooms out of the camera business

Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday announced it will shift the focus of its digital camera business, jumping out of manufacturing, distribution and design, in order to concentrate more on its home photo printing and online photo services.

The plan calls for HP to find a licensee to manufacture, design and distribute digital cameras under the HP brand name, said an HP spokeswoman. HP will continue selling its cameras through the end of the year and intends to have the partnership arrangement in place in the first half of 2008.

HP will not abandon the digital camera business as it forms an important part of its future, the spokeswoman said. The refocus will instead allow HP to invest more in HP’s Print 2.0 strategy, announced in May, the spokeswoman said.

Under the Print 2.0 strategy, targeted at the high-end and low-end markets, HP is looking to boost its Web-based printing services and tools for digital content creation. The strategy shift will boost HP’s position in the photo printing and online photo services market, while accelerating the company’s retail photo-finishing business, HP said in a statement.

For the fourth fiscal quarter ending Oct. 31, the company will take a $30 million charge prior to net income relating to the strategy shift.

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