Polaroid Wants to Help You Print Your Smartphone Pics

Here’s a crazy statistic: people around the world downloaded 328 million apps on Christmas Day 2012. It would seem that owning a tablet or smartphone is nearly as important as breathing when it comes to being an active member of the human race in 2013.

Of course, this newly equipped public presents brands with a one-time opportunity to get with the program and increase their reach—especially if they’re considered last year’s news. Today brings reports of a re-branding at Polaroid, the one-time king of all things photography, which plans to follow the Apple Genius Bar” model by opening a series of “experiential” “FotoBar” retail locations specifically targeted to those millions of Americans whose smartphone drives are filled with digital snapshots just itching to become real-life photographs.

Polaroid is no longer the brand it once was—after moving through multiple bankruptcies, the company looks like a relic. But the photo market is huge, and there’s lots of money to be made within it. Fotobar’s CEO estimates that the public takes nearly 1.5 billion pictures every day, and he’s betting that more than a few of those amateur image-makers want to turn their camera rolls into physical objects fit to be framed and displayed on desks, walls, bedside tables, etc. The world’s first Fotobar will open in Florida in February.

PR pros: Would you stop by an old-school brick, mortar and fiberglass retail location to print out your smartphone pics? Will this move help make Polaroid relevant again?