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 user 2007-06-18 at 10:09:00 am Views: 42
  • #18065

    Kodak inkjets doomed to failure, says Epson
    2007 Epson has taken the extraordinary step of naming and shaming
    manufacturers and products that it feels aren’t living up to its
    standards. HP, Canon and Kodak were all accused of falling short of the
    mark during a press launch for a new range of printers and
    multifunction devices.First up for a bloodied nose was Kodak. Epson
    welcomed the former-film company into the market but the knives were
    soon out. ‘I doubt the Kodak proposition will work,’ said Robert Clark,
    Epson’s Director of Inkjet Business. He claimed Kodak’s printers would
    reach the end of their life-cycles before the consumer had recouped the
    cost of the hardware through cheaper ink.To back up its claims, Epson
    commissioned a study from TUV Rheinland into ink efficiency. Perhaps
    unsurprisingly, Epson’s cartridges were found to be highly efficient,
    with single-ink tanks more efficient than the tri- or five-colour tanks
    used by competitors such as HP.

    Again, Kodak came in for a
    bludgeoning, with Hartmut Muller-Gerbes from TUV saying the study had
    found the EasyShare 5300 used just 36 per cent of the ink in its tanks
    before one colour ran out and the cartridge had to be discarded. It was
    the worst performer in the test. Clark said ’64 per cent wastage is
    pretty outlandish’, but that he was ‘not picking on Kodak’.But
    efficiency isn’t everything in a printer, and Epson was reluctant to
    discuss specific page yields and costs at its launch event, instead
    referring reporters to official ISO yields.Muller-Gerbes admitted that
    TUV’s test wasn’t interested in ‘how much money the consumer would
    waste’, but the ‘ecological outcome’. Later, however, in an unguarded
    moment, he said ‘this is a marketing point of view’, and it doesn’t
    take a particularly fertile imagination to see how consumers might be
    more worried about the cost of their prints than discarding a few
    millilitres of unused ink.

    Scanner attack
    Epson also launched
    an attack on its scanner rivals. The company made a point of
    demonstrating the minimal difference between the HP G4050′s 48-bit and
    96-bit scanning. A few minutes later, fingers were pointed at the
    Canoscan 8600F for its poor performance in Epson’s tests.Then, in a
    different breakout session, Epson held up HP’s range of office inkjet
    printers as a specific example of products that slower than its
    own.Fierce competition in the printer market is nothing new, but
    traditional shorthand for close rivals in the IT industry is normally
    simply ‘our competitor’.Clark defended Epson’s unusually aggresive
    stance, claiming: ‘I took the decision to do it… to give you more
    value’, describing the indistinct ‘competitors’ term as ‘nebulous’. But
    old habits die hard: ‘you might see more of it from our competitors,’
    he suggested.