Olympus, the world-famous camera brand, is selling the camera part of its business after 84 years.
The Japanese company first shipped a camera in 1936 but has struggled against the rise of smartphone cameras to keep its business profitable.
Olympus said it would sell the imaging part of its business to JIP, the fellow Japanese company that bought the rights to use the VAIO laptop branding from Sony.
“Olympus has implemented measures to cope with the extremely severe digital camera market, due to, amongst others, rapid market shrink caused by the evolution of smartphones,” reads the announcement, which also details the company’s restructuring to try and avoid a sale. It goes on: “Despite all such efforts, Olympus’s Imaging business recorded operating losses for 3 consecutive fiscal years up to the term ended in March 2020.”
The company enjoyed great success in the 1970s and 80s with its small, affordable cameras with good quality lenses. But latterly it has struggled immensely to improve its modern output when rivals Nikon, Sony and Canon have been able to combat smartphone ubiquity with better products.
Olympus will continue to exist, focusing on its larger medical equipment business.