New Olympus interviews raise more questions than answers


Olympus is attempting damage control by giving several interviews to different online outlets, but after reading through all of them, I am still left with more questions than answers. Here are a few quotes:

“Q: What is the plan for the product line under new leadership? Will the name Olympus be kept?
A: With our Micro Four Thirds (MFT) Standard mirrorless interchangeable lens systems, our product lineup offers unique benefits that other camera manufacturers do not have the ability to offer. We will continue to pursue these benefits and develop compact lightweight MFT system products that are aligned with the needs of photographers of genres in which our unique features shine, such as Wildlife, Bird, Field Marco, and Adventure Landscape photography. (In fact, just last week we announced the development of a future firmware update to support birding photographers with the addition of Bird Detection to the E-M1X camera’s Intelligent Subject Detection AF, scheduled for release this winter.) The Olympus name will remain at the time of transfer. The name will likely not be used forever, but this decision will be made in the final agreement between Olympus and JIP.” (42 West)


Q: What can Olympus users expect to see in terms of changes? Is there any relevant part of the business that is not being transferred to JIP?
A: It is too early to predict what changes could take place, as details of the transfer are still being negotiated. The transfer will include all product categories currently managed by our Imaging Division. Olympus’s Medical, Life Sciences, and Industrial Solutions divisions will not be included in the transfer. (Explora)


Q: Camera and lens manufacturing is very specialized, and to the best of my knowledge, JIP doesn’t have any such capability of their own. As far as I know, there isn’t a separate camera/lens factory that could be sold off to the new entity as part of the deal; your Vietnam factory produces both cameras and medical devices. Will Olympus lease space and equipment within that factory to JIP, or is it more likely that you will contract with JIP to handle the manufacturing for them?
A: We cannot comment at this moment as we just agreed to a non-binding MOU [a Memorandum of Understanding, a public statement that two parties are willing to move towards a contract], but please be reassured that there won’t be any problem with production.

Q: Is it possible that any discontinued product lines might be licensed to third parties?
A: We cannot comment on the details at this moment as we just agreed to a non-binding MOU. (Imaging Resource)


The sale of the Imaging Division does not mean that we will withdraw from the imaging business. We will continue to offer unique and exciting products.” (dpreview)


I already posted what an Olympus UK executive said two weeks ago: “Don’t panic… business is pretty strong


 

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