I don't know if anyone noticed but Pentax ceased production of the K-01 two or three weeks ago. The writing was on the wall with hefty discounts being offered recently - body-only price down to £240 compared to well over double that a year ago.
Having been launched little more than a year ago it might qualify as the shortest-lived Pentax camera ever? Although Pentax engaged a respected designer to come up with something quite different in camera design it was mainly described as 'quirky' or as the 'yellow brick' - or worse! It seems that even its admirable ability to use a vast range of current and legacy Pentax K-mount lenses did not give it enough appeal. I have no idea what the sales figures were but I suspect they were quite disappointing from Pentax's perspective.
Difficult for Pentax: They don't have the funding to compete with the big boys on level terms (although they were one of the biggest boys 40 years ago) so they need to do something to really attract the attention of customers. The K-01 wasn't it.
Personally, I think they could concentrate on extreme durability as the stand-out selling feature. They are already a long way towards that with water/dust resistant mag-alloy camera bodies and the DA* lenses, but need to take it farther through the whole lense and accessory range. Then REALLY promote that image of durability (not in the way they do very half-heartedly at present) with attention-grabbing ad campaigns and perhaps some high-profile endorsees. You know, - the camera brand you can take mountaineering, white-water rafting, jungle trekking, through any hostile terrain and know it's going to stand up to it. Even if the camera is never used in that way it is all about IMAGE and DESIRABILITY. Just my view - what thoughts do other forum members have?
What does Pentax need to do to guarantee its future?