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 user 2003-11-13 at 3:08:00 pm Views: 50
  • #8476
    Canon Makes Bold Moves in the Consumer Ink Jet Space

    On September 8, Canon refreshed its consumer-class ink jet product line with five new models. The new machines combine existing Canon imaging platforms with new technology and software to produce what is the firm’s strongest consumer ink jet product line to date. Once considered a “me too” provider of ink jets, Canon has worked hard over the past two years to reposition itself as a leader in technology innovation and price/performance. The firm’s latest products do much to further that position.

    Canon’s five new models range in price from $79 to $249 and cover virtually every category in the consumer ink jet space, except for the entry-level segment. One of the more interesting products in Canon’s new ink jet lineup is the $199 i960 photo printer, which replaces the firm’s i950 (Observer, 2/03). The i960 is a six-color printer that is based on the same print head used in the previous machine. The printer has a total of 3,072 nozzles, with 512 nozzles per color (CMYKcm).

    As it has with previous ink jet products, Canon promotes the i960′s Think Tank System—the machine’s individually replaceable ink tanks coupled with intelligent ink-management technology. In theory, Canon’s Think Tank System provides lower operating costs and less ink wastage than those printers that use integrated cartridges because each color ink tank is replaced individually. (For more on Canon’s Think Tank System, see Observer 3/99.)

    The Think Tank System continues to be a potential marketing advantage for Canon, but it is unclear whether consumers actually view the firm’s printers as less costly to operate. The ink tanks used in the i960 are certainly less expensive than those used in competitive machines, but it is difficult—if not impossible—to compare the i960′s cost per page with that of competitive ink jet products because Canon does not provide ink yields based on page coverage.