Polavision did not sell well in retail shops and brought a huge financial crisis to Polaroid. Edwin Land submitted his resignation and left the company he had founded.
The 1980’s was a hard time to Polaroid. The company tried to reinvent itself without Edwin Land by shifting away from a dependence on consumer photography, a market that was steadily declining. It was forced to make wholesale changes. Over thousands of workers were fired and many manufacturing plants were shut down. Therefore, Polaroid sought to innovate in the declining market for instant photography.
In 1990’s, technology rose and dramatically changed the world of photography. 1-hour color film processing, single-used cameras from competitors, videotape camcorders, and digital cameras brought more choices to public. The rise of new technology has helped reduce the cost of print photography to a large extent.
Polaroid then turned to produce disposable cameras. At that time, many other competitors such as Kodak and Fujifilm were in the market.
The company planned to invent camera that can produce instant photos and 35mm negatives and another one that yields instant photos with digital images. Moreover, they moved the factories to less developed countries like China and other low-wage countries to keep costs down.
In 2001, Polaroid released a small portable printer. It was used for advertisers like retailers and restaurants to reach cellphone users with printouts. The product brought them an extra revenue, along with sales of the device, and refills of the printout.
Unfortunately, Polaroid went bankrupt in October 2001 and announced that they would stop producing instant films and cameras. On the other hand, a group of former employees of Polaroid bought its film factory in the Netherlands and formed a new filmmaking company called The Impossible Project.
The Impossible Project only takeovers the factory space and machines from Polaroid other than technology and techniques. So they have to create and produce new colour dyes.
“Polaroid has become more than a household name – it has become one of the most recognised and trusted lifestyle brands in the world.” – Scott W. Hardy, President and CEO of Polaroid
At present, Polaroid focuses in producing digital photographic products like Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera, Polaroid Cube Action Camera and Polaroid ZIP Instant Photoprinter. Hopefully Polaroid still has a role in the future of photography.