*NEWS*HP USING COLOR TO STAY ON TOP / SPY
*NEWS*HP USING COLOR TO STAY ON TOP / SPY
2005-11-08 at 11:35:00 am #14537
Printer leader H-P using color to stay on top
Company unveils new models in hopes of stunting Dell’s ascension
SAN JOSE, Calif. – In the escalating war over computer printers, the latest battle is being fought in color.
Co. unveiled several new color printers and related supplies Monday in
its latest maneuver to outflank feisty newcomer Dell Inc. and maintain
its sizable lead in the business.
Among H-P’s new offerings is a
$700 color laser printer for business that takes aim at Dell. H-P also
unveiled a new toner technology it claims delivers 20 percent more
color and 40 percent more gloss than other toners.
year, H-P introduced a bare-bones $400 color laser printer that matched
Dell’s price for a similar machine. Dell now sells a color laser
printer for $260.
At those prices, business and home users can get
print-shop quality color machines for about the same price that some
lower-quality ink-jet printers cost just a few years ago.
increasingly important to businesses such as real estate offices,
retailers and others that print an estimated 21 billion color pages
each year for fliers, brochures and other materials.
“If you look at
small and medium-sized businesses, what they want is to look like a big
company, but they don’t have a big-company budget,” said Vyomesh Joshi,
who heads H-P’s imaging and printing group. With the new color laser
printers, Joshi said, companies can produce a typical brochure for
about $180, compared to about $600 at a print shop.
H-P helped create the printer business and today is the industry’s undisputed leader.
to technology research company IDC, H-P controls about 45 percent of
the overall printer market, well ahead of No. 2 Dell’s 15 percent
But Dell has been making significant headway in an
industry it entered less than three years ago. That’s especially true
in the color laser printer business, which is widely considered the
fastest-growing and most profitable part of the market.
IDC, Dell captured about 12 percent of that market and became the No. 3
seller of color laser printers and all-in-one-devices in its first year
in the business; H-P’s market share in that business fell slightly to
35 percent. Dell only recently started selling higher-end printers.
think they (H-P executives) are probably extremely concerned about Dell
in certain areas,” said Dan Smyth, an analyst with research firm
Current Analysis Inc. “Dell has forced everyone to become more
price-competitive,” especially in the lower-priced ink-jet printer
According to Lyra Research Inc., shipments of color laser,
multifunction printers are expected to grow by 220 percent over the
next four years.
What makes the business even more attractive to
printer companies is that color machines typically use four times as
much toner as black-and-white machines. Color supplies also typically
cost more than black-and-white supplies. About 58 percent of H-P’s
printer group revenue comes from supplies.
“Basically Dell’s success
in this business relies on the (supplies),” said Smyth of Current
Analysis. “We’re all kind of still waiting to see how that works out.”
H-P, Dell is planning a greater focus on color and on small and
medium-sized businesses, said Tony Mara, Dell’s senior manager for
printer product marketing.
For years, Dell sold computers almost
exclusively to business users.When it entered the printer business,
though, Dell focused almost exclusively on consumers, offering
low-priced, even free, ink-jet printers with new computer purchases.
out, we felt we could get penetration pretty quickly” with consumer
sales, Mara said. “Over time, you’re going to see us moving more into
what we do in our core side . . . business- to-business.”
Joshi, who has set a company goal of doubling H-P’s printer business within a decade, dismisses Dell as just another competitor.
analyst Keith Kmetz doesn’t see H-P losing its lead any time soon, but
he cautions, “(Dell) is certainly nipping at their heels.”
predicted that H-P will remain the market leader in part by relying on
superior technology. It does all its printer research in-house, while
Dell basically re-brands printers made by Lexmark, Kodak, Samsung and
Fuji Xerox, he said.