Brand licensing agreements are all the rage these days, with BlackBerry’s once revered name set to live on under TCL’s management, Finnish startup HMD Global in charge of Nokia’s enduringly strong reputation, and now Archos selected as the European manufacturer and distributor of Kodak-labeled tablets.
Yup, that Kodak. The one and only film photography pioneer and long-time industry dominator that hit rock bottom by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in 2012 after struggling to make the obligatory digital transition.
Since then, various remnants of the American legend showed a few signs of nostalgia-driven recovery, with the help of silent partners like the UK-based Bullitt Group responsible for the surprisingly decent Ektra Android phone.
Tackling Android tablets feels like a logical next step for the Eastman Kodak Company, and France’s Archos, with its “strong track record” in that particular business, jumped at the chance of “jointly developing” the “highly trusted” brand into this new world.
Mutually flattering PR talk aside, the cruel reality is Archos and Kodak don’t mean a lot to modern tech consumers. The former’s name will make the occasional pre-CES, MWC or IFA headline with mediocre low-cost devices, then vanish until the next such show, while the latter is something many remember as a big deal in a time long gone.