I'm only speculating here, but I suspect that the global recession probably had as much immediately to do with Rollei's demise as digital did.
Franke & Heidecke, a.k.a. Rollei...it had a variety of owners and formal names over the years. Paul Franke and Reinhold Heidecke were the founders, and Rollei always the flagship product name and at times the corporate name too—indeed, one of the great names in cameradom. It had an 80-year run, which is more than respectable for a camera company. Its longevity puts it in a very exclusive club of the world's longest-running camera manufacturers.
During that time it faced down many challenges. It survived the burgeoning popularity of 35mm in the late '40s and 1950s, including the heyday of the Leica rangefinder in the 1950s. And it was supposed to be killed off by the advent of the interchangeable-lens Mamiya TLRs starting with the C3 and C33, but Rollei eventually outlasted that line's entire long run.
For a company to last that long, it has to significantly re-invent itself at least once, and Rollei did so, successfully, with the introduction of the SLX in 1976. Although the original was balky and had a poor reputation for reliability, all of the many 6000-series cameras were the SLX's direct descendants, and later models were refined to a very high degree; the line saw the world's first autofocus 6x6cm camera. I reveiwed the 6008 for Camera & Darkroom in the '90s and although it was too much camera for my note-taking style of photography, I was impressed with it during my time with it.
The major market for Rollei from the '80s to the early 2000s was European studio pros, who tended to standardize on Rollei 6000-series cameras the way that American studio pros tended to use Hasselblads; it was as though the two major makes split the market between them. (I don't know what studio pros in Asia tended to prefer.) The Hy6 system was struggling to serve that market—and might have reinvented Rollei yet again—but the market was too volatile, with too many complicating factors, perhaps with low sales numbers and lowish profit margins (I'm just guessing here) together conspiring against it being a king-post for a whole company's fortunes.
I also tried one of the modern iterations of the TLR once—the one with the onboard light meter—and loved it, but it was far too expensive for me to actually own. I ended up not reviewing that one for the same reason my take on the Panasonic G1 has been slow in coming—too d*mn cold to get out photographing during the time I had it.
The classic Rolleis I like the best (and they'll all be around for a long time to come) are the ones with four-element Tessars, called Xenar if manufactured by Schneider. There's no difference between a Tessar and a Xenar in a Rollei model, although there are differences in lens performance across models, and across time. I've never run across a bad lens in a Rollei, although of course I have my preferences. The Schneider equivalent of the Zeiss Planar was called Xenotar.
The TLRs have always been available new in one form or another, but they've been vestigial for years, priced stratospherically and selling in very low volume—essentially, and sometimes actually, commemorative models.
The immediate question about the current product line is, what happens to the Hy6 body and system? It serves as the all-purpose mule for various companies' digital backs. This is little talked-about on photography and camera forums, since amateurs tend to ignore medium-format digital, but the growing paucity of medium-format camera systems to accept medium-format backs is putting considerable pressure on the latter's marketing and use. The Hy6 is still a viable product line and hopefully it's a corporate asset that will be sold off to another supplier, one that will keep it alive. Perhaps The Luminous Landscape will keep us apprised about this.
I give Herr Schmid high marks for his bold attempt to become Rollei's savior. Possibly he could have made a go of it if the timing hadn't been so bad relative to the worldwide recession. Given Rollei's long and undeniably august history, it's a shame and a loss to see it go, even if it perhaps will seem inevitable in retrospect.
There isn't a good current book on the history, products, and lore of Rollei, and perhaps now would be a good time for such a book. My library features titles on the marque by Fritz Henle, Jacob Deschin, and of course Ian Parker, all currently out of print.