*NEWS*HP & KODAK SPAR OVER INK CLAIMS
*NEWS*HP & KODAK SPAR OVER INK CLAIMS
2007-05-31 at 12:11:00 pm #18001
HP And Kodak Spar Over Printer And Ink Claims
When Kodak launched its inkjet printers recently, it included a report from Quality Logic that talked about how its models were more cost efficient at printing photos than HP’s inkjets. That started off a war of words. Here’s HP’s response and Kodak’s rebuttal below:As the recognized, long-term leader in imaging and printing systems, HP is confident that our technology innovations and products will continue to thrive in the marketplace and compare very favorably to this new inkjet entrant’s offerings. For more than 20 years, HP has consistently reduced the total cost of printing, while at the same time raising the bar of the printing experience.Bottom line: Kodak’s products don’t save customers 50% on everything they print and HP’s products offer more features and better technology at the same price points.
· According to analysis of data provided by Lyra Research Inc., the average home customer prints about 70 pages per month with a ratio of 2:1 of black documents to color, and about 6 photos per month.
· HP also compared the yields of our own and Kodak’s products using ISO testing methods for plain paper and HP’s own photo-yield test.
· HP already offers lower CPP than Kodak. For example, our new Officejet Pro L7580 ($299) has a black CPP of 1.4 cents versus Kodak’s 2.9 cents at the same price point.
· When comparing the HP Photosmart C5180 and C6180 to the comparable Kodak models (the 5300 and 5500), Kodak’s total cost of ownership was only approx. 70 cents per month less than HP. This is a far cry from Kodak’s “50% less” assertion.
While we have not fully analyzed all the claims in Kodak’s yield report, our initial review found that it’s not necessarily an apples-to-apples comparison with HP’s offerings.
· Kodak’s and QualityLogic’s testing confirm that using the ISO 24711 test method with ISO 24712 test documents, HP’s Photosmart C5180 provides lower cost-per-page printing black text (2.6 cents for HP Vs. 2.9 cents for Kodak). This likely explains why, in their published results, Kodak switched to ISO’s 19752 mono test suite, using dissimilar driver settings for HP, in order to get a mono cost-per-page result where Kodak has an advantage.
· QualityLogic’s test did not include all available HP supplies. For example, HP’s Photosmart C4180 offers a larger black supply (HP 95) than what was included in the test, which would have resulted in lower black cost-per-page for HP. What’s more, HP offers many different value pack options that further reduce HP’s cost-of-printing.
· QualityLogic’s mono test did not compare similar print modes between Kodak and HP. For Kodak’s product, QualityLogic set the printer for black and white printing through the driver, as is called for in the ISO 24711 test method. For HP, QualityLogic used the default setting for plain paper, even though a grayscale setting was available, violating the ISO 24711 standard.
· For driver settings, they used the Kodak auto detect mode (defined as normal quality), while all other printers they forced into best quality. Note that for the HP C5180 they used Premium Plus Photo paper in best mode. The recommended paper for this printer is Advanced Photo Paper, and using this paper with Auto Sense defaults to normal quality. This means the yields are lower than what the typical customer would experience.
HP understands there are different types of customers with different printing needs. After listening to our customers and realizing that one cartridge does not fit all, HP has reinvented and expanded our global supplies portfolio to offer new product options, while also making the process of choosing and buying printing supplies simpler than ever.
· For those customers who want a lower purchase price, HP already offers color ink cartridges starting at $9.99 (HP 02) and black ink cartridges starting at $14.99 (HP 60). As part of our new innovative ink supplies strategy, HP’s “standard” cartridges – packaged in blue – are designed for customers who print a limited number of pages on a weekly or monthly basis.
· For those who are more concerned with cost savings and lower cost per page, HP offers a variety of “value” options packaged in green, including twin and combo packs – and for photo printing, Photo Value Packs. In fact, the new HP Officejet Pro L7500 All-in-One, based on HP’s exclusive Scalable Printing Technology, offers professional-quality prints as low as 1.5 cents per page for black and white and 7.7 cents per page for color.
· HP’s “specialty” inkjet print cartridges, packaged in red, offer additional performance advantages over HP’s standard formulations – ideal for customers who primarily print photographs and demand exceptional quality.
HP will continue investing heavily in new ideas and new products, as we believe our customers will continue to recognize the unique value we bring to meet their printing needs.
Here’s the response from Kodak:
HP recently distributed a series of statements regarding the independent ink yield and cost-per-page results that QualityLogic and Kodak presented earlier this month.HP’s strategy appears to be to draw attention away from the results by questioning the validity of some of the testing methods used. To ensure credible and transparent testing and results, Kodak sought an independent testing facility with managers that sit on the ISO Standards Committee.Kodak’s strategy is to offer something different, something consumers have been asking for — less expensive home inkjet printing. The QualityLogic ink yield test and Kodak cost-of-printing analysis were conducted to prove, in black-and-white, that Kodak’s business model delivers.
Following are QualityLogic / Kodak’s responses to the HP statements about the cost-per-page analysis and results.
1) HP states, “Kodak’s and Quality Logic’s testing confirm that using the ISO 24711 test method with ISO 24712 test documents, HP’s Photosmart C5180 provides lower cost-per-page printing black text (2.6 cents for HP versus 2.9 cents for Kodak). This likely explains why, in their published results, Kodak switched to ISO’s 19752 mono test suite, using dissimilar driver settings for HP (see point 3 below), in order to get a mono cost-per-page result where Kodak has an advantage.”
Kodak and QualityLogic respond:
Actually, the ISO standard presents both the 24712 and 19752 test suites for determining black-and-white ink yields. To provide the greatest amount of transparency and accuracy, Kodak and QualityLogic reported both sets of ink yields and cost-per-page findings.As history: Annex E was added to ISO 24711 standard to provide the option to use the monochrome test page defined in ISO 19752 to, “test the yield of color inkjet and color laser printers in situations where monochrome text is printed predominantly or comparisons need to be made between color and monochrome printers. This is not meant to take the place of testing black yield using ISO/IEC 24712, but to be in addition to testing with ISO/IEC 24712.”
In accordance with ISO, black ink yield was tested with 24712 and 19752. It is worth noting that ISO 24712 is a suite of pages that all include some color, so if users really want to compare yields using a black text document, ISO 19752 seems better suited for that purpose. That is what QualityLogic did, and the results showed that Kodak provides the lowest cost-per-page.
It is beneficial for consumers to be able to compare page yields across technologies.
2) HP states, “Quality Logic’s test did not include all available HP supplies. For example, HP’s Photosmart C4180 offers a larger black supply (HP 95) than what was included in the test, which would have resulted in lower black cost-per-page for HP. What’s more, HP offers many different value pack options that further reduce HP’s cost-of-printing.”
Kodak and QualityLogic respond:
Kodak chose to test the cartridges that ship with each printer because these are the cartridges that consumers are most likely to purchase. Therefore, the testing was based on individually purchased cartridges. It is also the most practical way to provide an apples-to-apples comparison.Like HP, Kodak offers a discounted combo cartridge pack, delivering an even lower cost-of-ink and lower cost-per-page to consumers. While this would have provided even better cost-per-page results for Kodak, it would not have supported apples-to-apples comparative testing.
HP offers cartridge twin packs for the 93 and 98 cartridges used in the HP Photosmart C4180. The standard cartridges cost $19.99 each. Twin packs cost $35.99 for two 93 or two 98 cartridges. Effectively, HP gives consumers a 10% discount per cartridge with their twin packs.According to Kodak’s analysis, over a three-year period of printing an average number of pages and using standard ink cartridges (see Kodak Cost-of-Printing Analysis), consumers can save approximately $300 on ink if they use a Kodak printer instead of the HP C4180. If consumers were to use HP twin-cartridge packs over the same three-year period with the HP C4180, they would still pay $270 more than Kodak users — assuming the Kodak customers hadn’t purchased Kodak’s combo-packs, which would save them even more on cost-per-page.3) HP states, “Quality Logic’s mono test did not compare similar print modes between Kodak and HP. For Kodak’s product, Quality Logic set the printer for black and white printing through the driver, as is called for in the ISO 24711 test method. For HP Quality Logic used the default setting for plain paper, even though a grayscale setting was available, violating the ISO 24711 standard. The likely result of this was to decrease the amount of color ink used from the Kodak product during black printing and increase the amount of color use from HP.”
Annex E of ISO 24711 requires that if a “black only” or “text only” mode exists in the driver, it be enabled. Two printers in the test offered a “black only” or “text only” mode: the Kodak EasyShare 5300 and the Epson Stylus CX6000. Grayscale does not fit the ISO definition. Therefore QualityLogic used the default driver setting on the HP C5180.4) HP states, “Quality Logic and Kodak used HP’s Premium Plus photo media for their yield test and resulting photo cost-of-printing, while for their own products Kodak compared their Premium Photo Paper. HP’s paper that is most comparable to Kodak’s Premium Photo Paper is our Advanced Photo Paper, which, if used in the test, would have resulted in lower photo cost-of-printing for HP.”
Kodak and QualityLogic respond:
As clearly reported in QualityLogic’s ISO test report, QualityLogic used Kodak’s Ultra Premium Photo Paper (glossy) in the photo test. This is the highest-grade photo paper available from Kodak and is directly comparable to the highest-grade photo papers from other manufacturers.
5) HP states, “Kodak’s claims compare their own cost-of-printing to what they call the “industry average.” The “industry average” cost-of-printing is largely meaningless to customers because it represents no actual product that they would experience. These numbers are based on an average of many different products.”
Kodak compared the cost-of-ink on the Kodak printer to the individual tested printers, as well as to an average of all tested printers. The objective was to provide consumers with as much information as possible to ensure a more informed purchasing decision.Just because the cost-per-page performance for three of the four HP printers tested was not as good as the average does not mean the comparison is bad for consumers to understand.
6) HP states, “Quality Logic and Kodak used several products in their test (Canon MP 160 – $89, HP PS C3180 – $99 & Lexmark X3470 – $99), which are priced considerably lower than Kodak’s hardware. Had Kodak and Quality Logic used only products at the same prices as Kodak’s ($149, $199 and $299), it would have lowered the industry average cost-of-printing for non-Kodak products.”
The printers tested were selected because they are some of the most popular models available on the market from each manufacturer. Therefore, the cost-per-page testing of these models is most relevant to consumers.Kodak and QualityLogic have sought to offer transparency in methodology and testing to produce credible cost-per-page results.