1994. Apple, in collaboration with Kodak and FujiFilm, launches QuickTake compact digital cameras with a 0,3 MP resolution sensor. After few years, Apple decides to dismiss the production of digital cameras and to focus on computers. In the same years, the giant of Cuppertino is also selling bubble jet and laser printers, mainly manufactured by Canon. Many of these printers have been discontinued. Still not in the iPod, iMac and iPhone hype, during the late 90s Apple is recognized as on of the top brands in innovative, fashionable computers, accessories and operating systems.
2007. Some weeks before the annual PMA, General Electric annouces its entrance in digital cameras arena with hte brand GE Digital Cameras some budget models. They continue launching new models, remaining in the compact segment. The current models sport 10 or 12 MP sensors and some basic computational photography features (*). But no other avdanced features neither service bundles are available yet.
If you are bit familiar with Apple and GE, you probably know that those two giants are developing and offering complete and complex ecosystems: on one hand, Apple manages iTunes which is probably on of the strongest control points ever; on the other hand, GE activities sport from consumer electronic to home appliances to financial services.
What if the two companies were selling a digital camera fully integrated in their consolidated commercial and service offer? How could be the “Apple Digital Camera” today? What if I could control a GE refrigerator or access a GE service with my GE digital camera?
Probably it can sound like an oversimplified approach, but it gives an idea of two possible digital imaging ecosystem concepts which are not avaialble yet.