*NEWS*ROUND 2 FOR DELL PRINTER/ INK BUSS

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*NEWS*ROUND 2 FOR DELL PRINTER/ INK BUSS

 user 2006-05-23 at 12:11:00 pm Views: 73
  • #15522

    Round Two For Dell’s Printers
    Computer
    giant Dell, which has struggled to expand its reach beyond its dominant
    PC line, is hoping a new line of printers can help the company make
    headway in that $16 billion market.

    The
    company, which has been selling printers since 2003, is rolling out six
    new models aimed at the higher end of the market, a shift from the
    consumer focus the company had originally pursued.”This is really a
    continuation of the printing and imaging strategy,” says Lisa Howe,
    director of marketing for Dell’s Printing and Imaging group. “This is
    an important area to have as part of our portfolio and will help us
    continue to grow.”Dell , which doesn’t break out specific results for
    its printer division, said that revenues for the unit had increased 10%
    over the last year, driven primarily by sales of ink, toner cartridges
    and paper. So-called “consumables” are typically where the printing
    industry makes most of its money.The five new laser printer models
    range in price from $380 to $1,000 and produce documents for about a
    penny or less per page. A new downloadable printer- and
    document-management software package called Open Manager is designed to
    go head-to-head with imaging behemoth Hewlett-Packard’s  Web Jet Admin
    and similar programs from competitors like Xerox  and Oki.According to
    technology research firm IDC, Dell shipped 5 million printing devices
    in 2005 and nudged out the traditional printer companies like Lexmark 
    and Epson for second place (at 15%) of total U.S. printer sales market
    share. But HP, which shipped 16 million printers in 2005, is still far
    in the lead.And impressive as the second-place achievement sounds, it
    doesn’t mean Dell has been raking in profit. Many of the printers are
    sold at cost, or even at a loss, to consumers, when they are bundled
    with PC purchases. Especially since the consumer hardware market is
    already bristling with competitors, “Dell’s low-end focus strategy has
    been a little curious,” says Ann Priede, printer hardware analyst for
    Lyra Research.”[They have] been following the ‘bottoms up’ approach,”
    but at this point, they need to move up-market, says Keith Kmetz,
    printer hardware analyst at IDC. “I think they recognize it’s a
    difficult battle on the low end.”With the introduction of the new
    higher-end products, Dell is regrouping for a more lucrative approach.
    Tweaking its offerings to suit industry trends, the company’s 3010cn
    and 5110cn are speedy and inexpensive color printers, and the 1815dn is
    a $430 multifunction black-and-white device that prints 27 pages per
    minute.According to IDC, although the printer market has essentially
    flatlined, the color laser market grew 53% between 2004 and 2005 and
    has a predicted compounded yearly growth rate of 18% from 2005 to 2010.
    The multifunction devices market is growing even faster: Between 2004
    and 2005, the market grew 80% and should experience 24% compounded
    yearly growth for the same period.”This next step is a smart move,”
    Priede says. “In the first round, you have to test the waters. In the
    second, you apply what you’ve learned.